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Timmerman hired as Murray County Museum Coordinator

SLAYTON — The Murray County Board of Commissioners has hired Janet Timmerman as the Museum Coordinator for the End O Line Railroad Park and Murray County Historical Museum. She is scheduled to begin her new duties Nov. 4.

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Timmerman, a Murray County native, is the author of the local history book, “Draining the Great Oasis; An Environmental History of Murray County.” She is currently working as executive director of the History Center of Olmsted County. She has knowledge about local history and extensive work experience in museums throughout the state.

“We are excited to have Janet back in Murray County to share with us her museum knowledge and inspire a whole new generation,” said Gerald Magnus, chairman of the Murray County Board of Commissioners. “Our museums were built on a strong foundation of community support, and we believe that Janet will renew that community spirit and help the museums thrive into the future.”

Murray County has gone through a long process to improve both museums through the Museum Assessment Process, a free service offered by the American Alliance of Museums.  The mission was to strengthen the commitment to the historical museums and to expand the museum presence through programming, exhibits, grants and building upon the roots of what the museums already have to offer.

James Jens, Murray County Commissioner who represents the Currie area, said, “History is made every day, and I am confident that Janet will help us capture that history and bring our museums to a whole new level of professionalism with fresh ideas.”

The Murray County Historical Society Museum in Slayton and the End O Line Railroad Park Museum in Currie are both unique museums. They will continue to operate with their specific identities, but with an overall coordinated effort to improve on the continuity of both locations.

Displays may change slightly to make them more accessible to the public. However, the museums’ mission will remain committed to maintaining the history of Murray County.

Another local historian, Anita Talsma Gaul, is also on staff as seasonal part-time Museum Curator. She is working on an extensive grant project to catalog the artifacts at the End O Line Museum and the stories that go with them. Her goal is to make sure those stories remain intact and accurate for future generations.

Timmerman said, “This area is fortunate to have a strong public commitment to preserving its history. I look forward to coming back to my ‘home on the prairie’ and working to bring Murray County’s history to life.”