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The Pine City Area History Association Celebrates a Decade

An interview with Judy Scholin and Julie Berglun of the Pine City Area History Association.

The Pine City Area History Association is celebrating a decade of work this weekend. Along with the festivities, the organization is launching a new program that help tells the history of Pine City's Downtown.

Judy Scholin says the organization started as an extension of the Pine County Historical Society.

"Our job is to preserve and share Pine City history," said Scholin. "The county has a great museum up in Askov, and they do a wonderful job... we just found that people weren't willing to in sending things up to Askov. They wanted to keep some of the things here in town."

The group set to work collecting and cataloging local history. Most information can be found digitally on the organization's extensive website.

"We do a lot of things digitally because we don't have a lot of space. Our goal is to share as much of it as we can," Scholin said.

The website is a landing spot to find anything from historic area photographs, maps, or even a Pine City Homecoming Button from 1969.

For those researching their family history, the website has a database of obituaries that ran in the local newspaper. They include their birth, date of death, and when it ran in the paper.

Pine City Area History Association Vice President Julie Berglund calls Scholin Pine City's local historian.

"Here she is, someone who didn't even grow up and live in Pine City until she moved here for a teaching career. Now, if I'm wondering anything, contact Judy because she can put together all the pieces," Berglund told WCMP.

Berglund said they try to have a couple of presentations every year at the Pine City Public Library that the community is always welcome to attend.

"Recently, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company was [an organization] that she [Judy Scholin] teamed up to do a huge presentation," said Berglund. "We are always getting new ideas about things that can be presented to the community at large."

To better show off the history of Pine City, the organization will launch a program titled History in this Spot. The program evolved from the Community Action Plan Committee that was held in 2022.

About 33 signs have been placed on buildings in Pine City's Downtown so that residents can read their prior history dating back to the late 1800s.

Pine City had two massive fires. One in 1897 burned the entire block that Sauser's Hardware sits on. A year later, a fire destroyed the blocks where Three-Twenty Brewing and The Pine City Scrapbooking Co. now sit.

Some of the history is tied to one of the area's most significant disasters. Scholin said the former JBs Rentals building on Mainstreet served as a makeshift hospital during the Hinckley Fire.

"The survivors that they first rescued they brought to that location. It was an indoor roller rink at the time, and they turned it into a temporary hospital to meet the needs of these badly burned people from Hinckley," said Scholin.

The kickoff event for History in this Spot will be held on Sunday, July 23, at 2:30 p.m. in the Pine City Public Library.

There will be a short presentation, and then people are free to wander downtown to see the signs and learn the history of Pine City.

There will also be a slide show in the library in case of inclement weather.

One of the over 30 History in this Spot signs hung around Pine City's downtown. This one is located at Sauser's Hardware. Photo by Joe Keyport.

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