Last week I had the privileged of attending a very special celebratory reception at the Wallace District Mining Museum, which was awarded the 2013 Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award for Outstanding Service. This important and impressive recognition is bestowed each year to one cultural heritage organization that demonstrates a commitment to excellent programming, community outreach, and professionalism. Together the Idaho State Historical Society, the Idaho Humanities Council, and the Idaho Heritage Trust award the chosen organization with $10,000 to advance their work.
Despite less-than-ideal travel conditions, I was so pleased to have the opportunity to visit the Wallace District Mining Museum for the first time. After extending a heartfelt congratulations to Jim McReynolds, the museum’s director, on behalf of LCHS, I toured wonderfully innovative exhibits that presented the region’s long history of resource extraction.
The centerpiece of the museum is a replica of a mine shaft that visitors can walk through. At each turn a small exhibit shares another piece of local history or mining technology. This powerful and unique storytelling model was proof that the Wallace District Mining Museum is truly deserving of the Sister Alfreda Award.
Jim McReynolds has not only breathed new life into the museum — if you haven’t visited in the last few years, you really should check it out — but he has also dedicated a tremendous amount of energy into digitizing documentary resources associated with the region’s mining history. Visitors can now learn about people and places of local importance quickly and efficiently at the museum’s free research kiosks.
To find out more about the museum, check out their website here.
To read a nice article in the Coeur d’Alene Press about the award, click here.
So once again, congratulations Jim and everyone at the Wallace District Mining Museum on a job well done!
— Dulce Kersting, Executive Director