Erwin Historical Society features Saturday holiday sale
December 2, 2019
By P.J. GLISSON
Ironwood — The Erwin Township Hall took on a second life as a bakery Saturday, with loads of cookies, other treats, and holiday wreaths for sale. Hot cider and coffee also were available.
The event was a fundraiser for the Erwin Township Historical Society, a nonprofit organization that just formed last summer.
The setting was apt since the township hall used to be the repository of the region’s historical artifacts, which include items from pioneer homes and former mines, etc., along with thousands of photos.
The problem, said Joy (Hautanen) Pelissero, is that they outgrew the space.
As secretary-treasurer of the society, Pelissero said she and fellow members hope to set up a new historical facility on the property of the former K.P. Silberg School, which served K-8 students until it closed in the late ’60s.
The Kodiak Fishing Company then used the school building until it burned down years later.
“Our goal is to move a historical building from another area or to build,” said Pelissero of the property.
She added, “We need a museum to preserve our history. Not only preserve our history of the past, but also to celebrate the present.”
She said she and fellow society members envision a structure, including a picnic area, that also could house community gatherings such as weddings.
In addition, she said, “We hope to have a research facility there.”
According to Pelissero, the township has about 327 actual tax-paying residents, many with “such pride” and “deep roots.”
So far, she said their efforts have drawn “overwhelming support” and added, “We’re excited. We have a lot of enthusiasm. People are just passionate about doing this.”
Pelissero’s husband, Tom Pelissero, is the society president, and Bill Hellen is vice president. Society trustees include Phyliss D’Antonio; Jeanne Miller; Kathy Anderson; and Ivan Hellen, who is Bill’s brother.
The society, which has its own newsletter, can be followed on Facebook.