What was uncovered in the search for pictures to use in Trinity’s 150th Anniversary celebration became a new project after the celebration came to a close. This month’s Servant Spotlight focuses on The Archive Team at Trinity.
The Archive Team (consisting of Sharon Lindgren, Kay Larson, Rhonda Coborn, Stu Vold, Sharon Heimbuch, and John Welch) went to work sorting, organizing, and creating order for the newspaper clippings, memorabilia, and pictures that were stuffed in the cupboards of the Archive Room just off the Fellowship Hall. Gary Lindgren took on the project of the construction plans for new cabinets, along with finding help in painting the entire room, closets, and cabinets. Together, this dream team of people archived old news articles, pictures, and scrapbooks, highlighting Trinity’s history throughout the years.
These volunteers began the project in March and worked 3-4 mornings each week until the first part of May. Approximately 250 volunteer hours were spent on archiving items from Trinity’s first years up until the year 2000 when most items were digitized. Sharon Lindgren said, “All of us had a special part in the archival process as well as catching lots of ‘sneak peeks’ into Trinity’s past. Every day, something new was discovered.”
Some of those discoveries made quite an impression. For example, John found the original Constitution for the church, while Stu found documents handwritten in Norwegian. While looking through the old church newsletters, Stu was especially struck by the pleas from Pastor Al Rogness, begging for money from congregation members to build a new church building. When the funds didn’t roll in as they should, Trinity went ahead on blind faith and started building the church anyway. Sharon Heimbuch was amazed by the pictures that showed how Trinity was (and is) a center point in people’s lives. Rhonda found 100-year-old handwritten documents from Pastor and Mrs. Wigdahl, highlighting different aspects of everyday life at that time. And Sharon Lindgren happened to read part of Mrs. Wigdahl’s letters and discovered comments about Yankton, SD (Sharon’s hometown), as well as specific comments about the pastor there… who happened to be the same pastor that baptized Sharon!
Connections galore can be found with just a bit of searching. Anyone can access this newly organized information. Stu said, “I don’t know if [people] know it’s here… and how easy it is to access!” The Archive Team would like Trinity’s members to know that ALL are welcome to look at the information…but be sure to keep everything INSIDE the Archive Room.
If something specific is needed, feel free to ask one of the Archive Team members to help. John’s specialty is anything related to the building; Kay’s specialty is the progression of all of Trinity’s pastors, and Rhonda’s specialty is the organization of all confirmation pictures dating back to the early 1900s, including names and dates of all confirmands.
Stu said, “Everybody worked hard, but Sharon [Lindgren] did SO much! Without her, it wouldn’t have happened!” Sharon replied, “These volunteers were the perfect mix! I had a couple ‘throwers’ and a couple ‘savers,’ so many compromises happened when the initial sorting began. What a good group!” She added, “The room is clean now, and it gives you a good feeling when you walk in!”
The Archive Team members glow with pride as they sit in the Archive Room talking about their work. They want to make sure others come to learn some of the stories they learned while they were deep into this “labor of love.” Sharon said, “We still have work to do and plan to resume this again in the winter. We want to try to do more labeling, put names and places on some miscellaneous pictures, and add to some binders.”
An archivist’s work is never done.
Thank you to this volunteer dream team for all of your work and the church history you have helped preserve!†