by Chloe Ellefson
from the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series by Kathleen Ernst
At least I hope you're having a happy spring. When you work at a huge historic site, as I do, spring can be a killer.
I've been curator of collections at Old World Wisconsin, an outdoor ethnic museum, for about a year now. Old World is a living history museum, where interpreters go about the daily activities Wisconsin's early immigrants pursued.
|The Pedersen Farm (Danish)|
The museum includes ten working farms and a crossroads village, all nestled on 576 acres within a state forest. It's a beautiful place, and the stories we tell there have relevance for everyone with an immigrant on their family tree. For the most part, I love my job.
All of the historic structures were moved to the site, and restored to periods from 1845 - 1915. As curator of collections, I'm responsible for thousands of artifacts---some that furnish the buildings, and some in storage.
Old World Wisconsin is closed during the winter, so getting all of the buildings open and ready for visitors is a huge job. I help train the interpreters and plan educational programs, too. And I do it all while trying to minimize contact with my boss, site director Ralph Petty. Let's just say we don't get along.
|The Surveyors' House, De Smet, SD|
I was speaking at a symposium about the famous author, and trying to authenticate a quilt believed to have been owned by Laura herself. A murderer was traveling the same route, and Kari had big problems I didn't know about, so the trip was a bit more stressful than I'd hoped. But things turned out OK in the end.
I grew up in the oh-so-Norwegian town of Stoughton, WI. Both of my parents are of pure Norwegian-American stock, and Mom in particular makes a huge deal of it. So I would be remiss if I didn't point out that today is Syttende Mai---Norwegian Constitution Day.
|Children's Parade, Oslo, Norway (Wikipedia)|
I'm taking my guy, cop Roelke McKenna, to a celebration at my folk's place. Roelke's a good sport about such things.
If you're ever in the area, stop by Old World Wisconsin for a visit! I guarantee you'll love it. And if you can't get there in person...well, you can always read about some of my adventures.
Kathleen Ernst is the author of over thirty books, including the Chloe Ellefson Mysteries, mysteries for young readers, historical fiction, and two nonfiction books. Before becoming a full time writer she worked as a curator at Old World Wisconsin.
Kathleen is celebrating her first post at Killer Characters with a GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment here and you will be entered to win a Chloe Ellefson mystery---winner's choice of title. The drawing will take place on Thursday, May 19th. Be sure to leave your email, or check back then.
Visit Kathleen at www.kathleenernst.com or https://www.facebook.com/kathleenernst.author