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Dropping fees opens Steele History Center to all
Joni Hubred, News Editor
Dropping fees opens Steele History Center to all, SCHS, Joni, Heart of Steele

When I dropped by the Steele County History Center (SCHS) last week to talk with director Kellen Hinrichsen about a new 360°, he first handed me a press release.

“The board voted on this last night,” he said. The smile on his face told me the news was something pretty special.

As of July 1, no one will pay a fee to visit the History Center. You can browse exhibits in the atrium, the main exhibit hall, the Lange Theater, all free of charge.

Of course, SCHS hopes you’ll think enough of the experience to drop a donation in the boxes at each entrance. But it’s not required, and that will make a huge difference for many families.

As it stands, admission would cost a family of five around $20, depending on the children’s ages. Two years ago, that might not have seemed like much.

We’ve all seen what’s happening to the price of groceries and gas; these days, even people with good jobs struggle to put food on the table.

Dropping fees will open the doors of the History Center to everyone at a time when we really need reliable and objective information about our history. Learning more about the past can help us build a better future.

The diaries, books, oral histories, and other artifacts entrusted to the Historical Society connect us to the places where we live and work, to our friends and neighbors–and the world beyond just our little corner.

That’s also more important than ever today.

The Steele County Historical Society’s focus on making local history more accessible, whether through free admission or help for English language learners or virtual tours, deserves our support. So if you’re able, drop an extra dollar (or ten) in those donation boxes when you visit and help them on their path to a more inclusive future.

Bringing people together to celebrate and learn more about local history can only be good for the heart of Steele County.

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