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Explore lakes area history with republished keepsake

Those of us who grew up in the Midwest are accustomed to the changing seasons. We endured the cold snowy days of winter, basked in the early sunshine of spring while watching the flowers come to life... then came summer!

A great segue into what I am very excited to share with you.

Not having grown up in Alexandria, I wasn't exposed to what the lakes area has to offer. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to explore much of its history through the most charming book, And Then Came Summer: Alexandria Remembered.

In 1978, the original book by that name was compiled and written by Peggy Schoellkopf and Jane Carey DeLay. They felt unless something was written about the uniqueness of this lakes area, the cottages and the families who joyfully spent their summers here, the memories would be gone with just the wish that "if only I would have asked about that" remaining.

When you travel the pages of this amazing guide you are taken back to a downtown Alexandria of the 1800s, revisiting the many merchants and families that help create something that would continue to prosper. You can feel the pride that is still visible today.

Join me as we step back in time to visit the Letson House located at 6th and Fillmore Street, Hotel Alexandria, The Blake Hotel with its rustic gazebos and picturesque bridge, Lake Mary and the Maryland Hotel, Lake Geneva's Dickinson Inn. Anything familiar?

For most of us these are names and places of days gone by. However, when you turn the pages of the book, they are reborn and charm us once again with the unique contributions they made to this area.

Everyone now has an opportunity to once again share this wonderful story. In a joint effort between the Douglas County Friends of the Library and the Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum (MLMM), we have republished And Then Came Summer: Alexandria Remembered.

On Wednesday, July 18, the Friends of the Library and the MLMM will host events to showcase this wonderful book.

Rachel Barduson, executive director of the Douglas County Historical Society, will be a part of two events that day to officially "roll-out" the book.

The first event will be at the Douglas County Library's large meeting room from 1 to 3 p.m. The second event on the same day is at the MLMM from 5 to 7 p.m.

Books can be purchased from either the Friends of the Library Bookstore located in the Douglas County Library or at the MLMM.

The first copy of this book was published many years ago. A few people have copies. However, many have asked for something to hold, share, enjoy and pass on to future generations. The Friends of the Library and the MLMM are thrilled to provide this opportunity.