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SCCHS welcomes new director

Former Museum Director Kim Bennewitz (left) welcomes new Director Leila Albert (right) to the Octagon House Museum. Submitted photo

While it is the St. Croix County Historical Society's mission to collect and preserve historic information and artifacts, and to promote interest in history through the development of our Octagon House Museum, this doesn't mean the Society is immune to change. In fact, our beloved old house has witnessed a lot of changes over the last 163 years.

The latest change is the transition to a new museum director. The society must bid farewell to previous director Kim Bennewitz. During her three years as director Bennewitz has enriched the society by implementing new ideas, adding new events and has helped enhance the operations of the museum. It is always sad to say goodbye to good friends, but as Bennewitz reminded us, "Change is good!"

The society extends a warm welcome to new director, Leila Albert. She is passionate about sharing and promoting historical understandings through information, interactions, stories and experiences based on research, interpretation and exhibition. She has a Master of Arts Degree in History, a Bachelor of Arts with History Major, Spanish and Anthropology Minors, an Associates of Applied Science degree in Computer and Information Management, as well as an Associates of Arts degree in Liberal Education.

Albert brings a wealth of education and experience having been a teaching assistant in the history department at UW-Eau Claire, a registrar at MN Historical Society, a guest curator at Ramsey County Historical Society and a volunteer at the Baldwin Area Historical Society.

We look forward to working with Leila and to the special talents she brings to the Historical Society as we continue to grow and change.

Victorian Solstice Program

Speaking of change, SCCHS is excited to introduce a new program. As the seasons change from Spring to Summer, the society will hold a Solstice program, which we hope will be the first of many classes to be held in the newly reorganize gift shop space.

Join us at the Octagon House Museum and Gardens for a night of Victorian Solstice magic 6-8:30 p.m. June 21. We will craft a head garland with flowers and natural finds from the gardens, learn about Victorian symbolism and the language of flowers, and participate in a midsummer bonfire and turn your troubles into ashes.

The cost for this program is $25 per person or $20 for SCCHS members and includes craft supplies. Complementary wine and snacks will be provided. Space is limited. Guests must register by contacting Stephanie Liberko at or message 612-251-6128.

To learn more about the Society visit or find us on Facebook at St. Croix County Historical Society.