In your issue of Dec. 28, 2012, there was a letter from Joe Klem of Escanaba that suggested a $1 million donation to the Delta County Historical Society by Dr. John Beaumier to build an addition to the Delta County Historical Museum and Archives was (in Mr. Klem's opinion) misguided. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but it always helps your argument when the facts are right. I would suggest that Mr. Klem is a little weak in that area.
For one thing, Dr. Beaumier's very generous donation was intended to expand not only our museum (as Mr. Klem said) but our archives. As anyone knows who has visited our archives in recent years, it has been full-to-overflowing with materials of all sorts related to the history of our county. Our museum has been equally full though it has not been so evident.
The "problem" for both our museum and archives is that we are trying to collect pertinent objects and documents related to the history of the people of Delta County (not just to the people of Escanaba as Mr. Klem seems to think), and when you have a history as interesting and as varied as ours has been, you are bound to be collecting quite a lot of materials. My guess is that Mr. Klem - a relative newcomer to the area, I guess, judging from is letter - becomes more knowledgeable about Delta County and its heritage, he will come to appreciate more why our historical society and, indeed, much of the county is so grateful to Dr. Beaumier. Frankly, we really need more space, and this addition will provide it for years to come.
Another area where I think Mr. Klem is somewhat weak in his understanding of the Historical Society's Sand Point Lighthouse. Thousands of people come from all over the country each summer to visit the lighthouse. And as of 2013 the Historical Society will be able to promote our lighthouse but our wonderful new museum/archives building holding all sorts of exhibits and documents related to our remarkable Delta County heritage. Is that so bad, Mr. Klem?
Dr. Charles Lindquist, President
Delta County Historical Society