Next issue on August 5th
New president rises to challenge
The Stanstead Historical Society, which has been preserving and promoting the history of Stanstead and the surrounding region since its founding in 1929, has a new president. Nadine Bjornestad, of Ogden, took over the presidency of the Society’s Board from
Ann Montgomery who spent seven busy years at its helm.
“When I was asked to be the president, I spent a long time deliberating before I said yes. The Colby-Curtis Museum is an important priority to me. Like the Haskell Library, I see it as a cornerstone of Stanstead,” said Mrs. Bjornestad who, since moving here full time in 2007, has volunteered at both the Haskell Library and the Colby-Curtis Museum. The interview took place in the museum’s solarium where delicate china tea cups and saucers, polished silver and white linens on tables awaited the patrons of the Colby-Curtis’ Tea Room.
In these times of waning memberships in community organizations, encouraging a greater connection between the museum and the community will be one of the new president’s objectives. “I’d like to help increase the community’s exposure to the museum. It’s a necessity to see how important the museum is, and to support the museum’s activities like the Tea Room, the Boutique, the Apple Fest…I’d like to see more people bring their friends from out of town to visit the museum. We have three great guides for the summer, all young people from Stanstead and Stanstead East, who give excellent tours of the museum. I’d like people to feel like it is their museum; it is a community museum.”
Another more immediate objective will be to help sell tickets for the Colby-Curtis’ big annual fundraiser: the Barn Dance on August 8th. “That was so much fun last year. The weather was great and we even had a full moon. We won’t have a full moon this year but we’ll still have the bonfire and the food and the music will be great.”
“We are certainly looking for new people to become members of the Stanstead Historical Society,” continued Mrs. Bjornestad. Strong memberships are crucial for historical societies, providing much-needed revenue and proof that the community supports the mission and activities of the organization, an important requirement to receive government financial support. Individual membership in the Stanstead Historical Society costs only $35 per year and includes free admission all year long to the Colby-Curtis Museum, four newsletters, reduced rates for lecture luncheons and more.
But new members are needed for more than just their financial support. “Input from new members of the Stanstead Historical Society is always welcome,” added the new president.
Mrs. Bjornestad admitted that her earlier volunteer work at both the Colby-Curtis Museum, on the Executive Board and as
a member of the Boutique Committee, and at the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, as a tour guide, increased her appreciation for these historical landmarks of Stanstead. “You really get to see how important they are. Just imagine if there was no Haskell Library or ColbyCurtis Museum. Stanstead would be a very different place,” she concluded.
The Colby-Curtis Tea Room is now open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until the end of August. The Tea service includes a free tour of the museum and its exhibits: the permanent collection and “The County Fair: Agricultural Improvement and Popular Culture in Stanstead County”, and “Victorian Family Ritual: Marriage, Childbirth and Mourning”, two temporary exhibits. For more information about the Colby-Curtis Museum or the Stanstead Historical Society, call 819 876-7322.
Nadine Bjornestad, seen here in the Carrollcroft garden, was nominated the new president of the Stanstead Historical Society at the AGM last month.
SHS president Nadine Bjornestad’s first volunteer position at the Colby-Curtis Museum was on the museum’s Boutique Committee.