Susan Garwood, Executive Director of the Rice County Historical Society Museum visited with KDHL today about a variety of historical topics.  Garwood told us the museum displays might be closed by COVID-19 emergency orders but the gift shop is open.

Garwood explained, "The gallery is considered indoor entertainment like movie theaters and bowling alleys. But the museum store echoes the rules and regulations for small retail businesses so that piece can be open."

Garwood educated us about how Rice County residents coped with the pandemic of 1918 saying, "As you can imagine lots of people caught it, lots of people died.  In fact if you're famliar with Sam Temple and Logan Ledman, they produce the local history series 1855.  They actually just did a video on a family that was devasted by the pandemic.  The Zeman family.  That is available online through our website."

Imagine the world in 1918.  Garwood points out, "That's before penicillin.  That's before so many other things.  No electrolytes or ventilators or any of those things.  If you survived it you took a long time to recover.  From seasonal influenza as well.  Here in Faribault one of the greatest challenges were the residential schools.  Shattuck, St. Mary's and St. James were three separate schools at the time.  The Deaf School and the Blind School and of course the Faribault Regional School were all hit as you can imagine when illness hits it spreads so quickly throughout that."

The Rice County Historical Society Museum has a traveling exhibit in celebration of this being the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote.

Garwood hoped they would be able to share it this month but says, "We did get permission to have the display in January.  It's also the 100th anniversary of the start of the League of Women Voters.  The league established the traveling exhibit.  As soon as we are able to reopen we will be able to share that exhibit with everyone."

Below is audio from our AM Minnesota visit on Thursday, December 3, 2020.