St. Louis County Historical Society Available Speakers
St. Louis County MN Historical Society



Below is a list of individuals available for speaking engagements provided courtesy of the *St. Louis County Historical Society.  Please contact the speaker at least one month in advance to schedule a presentation.  Honorariums or fees may be required.  Consult the speaker for further details.  



Topics for High School and Adult Audiences:

  • Author of Pride of the Inland Seas (his history of Duluth-Superior Port/Maritime History)
  • Iron Ore and Mining History
  • Logging and Timber Harvesting History
  • Hydroelectric and Electric Utility History
  • Radical Labor History
  • St. Louis County History

Contact information:

Bill Beck, Lakeside Writers' Group

653 North Ritter Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46219




Topic:  Trains, Trains, & More Trains

Contact Information:

Ken Buehler, Executive Director of the Historic Union Depot

Executive Director of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum

506 Michigan Street

Duluth, MN 55802




Topics for High School, College and Adult Audiences:

·         “Iron and Steel in WWII and the Arsenal of Democracy”

·         “Iron Range: Minnesota Building America” - discussion and showing of the documentary

·         “Labor History and Minnesota’s Iron Ranges”

·         “Minnesota’s Iron Ranges: the Key to American Industrialization”

·         “Industrialization in the United States”

·         “The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety in WWI: Suppression of Free Expression”

·         “Exploring the Riddle of Iron Range Politics”

·         “The American Constitution: It’s Meaning in Our Lives”

·         “The Search for Economic Justice: Radicalism on the Cuyuna Range, 1911-1935”

·         “Dark Days, Hope, and the New Deal at the Grass Roots”

·         “Visions and Realities on the Iron Range”

Other topics are available or can be shaped to meet a group’s interests.

Contact Information:

Pamela A. Brunfelt, Mining Our History

244 East Pattison Street

Ely, MN 55731

218-365-5727 (home) or 218-235-2136 (Vermilion Community College – late August through early May)



Topic:  Author of Invincible: History of the Duluth Boat Club, his lecture spans from the establishment of the Duluth Boat Club through and including the present day

Contact Information:



Topics for Adult Audiences:

  • “A Labor History of Duluth”
  • “Four Duluth Women”
  • Radical Politics in the Lake Superior Region

Contact Information: 

Richard Hudelson, Associate Professor of Philosophy

University of Wisconsin – Superior

715-394-8476 (office)

218-724-3865 (home)



Topics for High School Students and Adults Audiences:

  • The history and contributions of Bernard Silberstein, a pioneer settler of Duluth and one of the first Jewish settlers
  • A slide presentation called "Behind the Scenes at Glensheen"... not just the beautiful rooms, but some of the infrastructure which makes the home function
  • A history of Duluth

Contact Information: 

Dennis Lamkin, Vice President-Senior Property Manager

U.S. Bank Corporate Real Estate
Mail Station EP MN 0400
630 U.S. Bank Place
Duluth, MN 55802
218-720-1027 (office) or 218-728-0350 (home)




  • Author of several books including Frontier Village, published in February, 2003
  • William Morrison and the discovery of the headwaters of the Mississippi
  • Mary Clara Post and Ellen Norton Ashton--pioneer women journalists
  • Stephen Bungo and western identity
  • Edmund Franklin Ely, Indian Educator and pioneer of Duluth/Superior settlement
  • Thomas Clark of Beaver Bay, MN state senator in 1858-1859
  • The Superior Chronicle, first newspaper at the head of the lakes
  • Robert C. Mitchell, founder of the Duluth Tribune

Other topics available that relate to the earliest days

Contact Information: 

Ronald V. Mershart, PhD

Professor Emeritus of History, University of Wisconsin—Superior

Sesquicentennial Committee Chair of Superior/Douglas County (celebrated in 2004)



Topic for Junior High Students through Adults:

“The Fantastic Story of the Cold War air defense systems – from the viewpoint of the Northland of the U.S. and also of Canada”

Contact Information:

William H. Rees, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), C/O St. Louis County Historical Society

506 W Michigan Street

Duluth, MN 55802




Topic for Mid-level Elementary School Students through College and Adults: The History of Seven Bridges Road and Skyline Parkway and Former Duluth Mayor Samuel Snively's Involvement in their Development, Construction and Promotion

Related Topic Information:

  • Published two magazine articles on the subject:

1)     "Snively’s Road" (Minnesota History vol. 54 no. 4, Winter 1994/95)

2)      "Mr. Snively: Roadbuilder, the History (and Mystery) of Seven Bridges Road", (Lake Superior Magazine, Sept 1998)

  • Produced a documentary entitled Snively’s Road
  • Created two websites in 1999:

1)     The History of Duluth, Minnesota’s Seven Bridges Road:

2)     The History of Skyline Parkway:

Contact Information: 

Mark Ryan

5604 Upton Ave South

Minneapolis, MN 55410

612-926-6095 or



Topic: Author of the novel Of Vikings & Voyageurs, a fascinating mystery based in the Northland, which combines the fictional tale of a treasure hunt with historical facts
Contact Information:




Topic:  "Historic Preservation--Public Policy and Trends"

Contact Information:

Carolyn Sundquist

Former President of the Duluth Preservation Alliance

Member of the Board of Advisors for the National Trust for Historic Preservation

2510 East 6th Street

Duluth, MN 55812

218- 724-4143

*Several resources were recommended by the Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections.


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Copyright 2007-2008 St. Louis County Historical Society