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Letterwerks Sign City
"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Thursday, August 25th, 2016
Volume ∞ Issue ∞

Our town! Our authors!

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Arts & Culture

By Jim Ruen

In the play Our Town, Thornton Wilder told the story of average citizens in the imaginary town of Groveland Corners. In our very real town, Lanesboro, a wide variety of people who would likely describe themselves as average citizens have been telling stories for years. These authors have shared stories, often about the town, at times about themselves and in other cases about people, places and events, imaginary and real.

Like our town, our authors are special. For a small town in the valley of the Root River, Lanesboro has produced and attracted a great many authors.

If you stop by the Lanesboro Museum you will find a collection of locally authored books. You may know some of the authors represented, recall others and even meet some recent additions. What is certain is that you will find stories to inform, entertain and educate. You also will likely find some that bring a tear to the eye and a smile to the face.

One of the most prolific of our town’s authors was Cecil Ward. This 20th century chronicler of Lanesboro life wrote for the Lanesboro Leader and was a projectionist at the State Theater, the only female projectionist in Minnesota and one of three in the country at the time. She played piano for silent pictures, was an advocate for animal rights before it was fashionable and found time to write 16 novels, all preserved at the museum along with her newspaper articles and columns.

William (Bill) Connelly recalls his boyhood in rural Lanesboro in Meandering of an Aging Soul. Connelly captures the whimsical details and the deep values, as well as the dark realities of life in Lanesboro during that period. Connelly also authored Minnesota American Indians.

Alice Bergey was a children’s author and an inspiration to all who knew her. A quadriplegic due to polio in her freshman year at Lanesboro High School, Bergey typed out eight Bible stories and a story about a mouse who went to the moon, all with a mouthstick pen.

Other local authors include Mary Bell, Don Ward, Ted St. Mane, Carson Ode, Gerald Ellestad, Orel Felland, Orville Severson, David Webb, Leone Baker, Alton Peterson, Nelius Torgerson, Olaf Northouse, Sandra Overland, Lola Prigge, Merlin Wangen, Nancy Huisenga, Marion Scanlon, Barbara Benson Keith, Jan Meyer and Scott Dixon.

Subject matter includes local history, memoirs, children’s books and more. Visit the museum and learn about our authors.

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