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Historical society plans a book on Rosemount's history

The Rosemount Historical Society wants to publish a book on the city's history, even as it's happening.

That's a big job, and the historical society is looking for residents' help to get the job done.

They hope to capture Rosemount's history from the distant past right up to recent events. The historical society has thousands of its own photos, but member Maureen Geraghty Bouchard said the group is looking for Rosemount residents who have their own bits of history to share.

The book will be primarily photos, with captions and sidebars containing additional information.

"We're looking for a whole lot more pictures and stories that may go with them," said Bouchard, who is one of the co-chairs of the book project.

Bouchard said the historical society spent a lot of time talking about the book's format. They settled on a photo-heavy layout, she said, because they believe it will be more accessible to people. The book will be easy to pick up and leaf through, Bouchard said.

"Even when I was a little kid, the books I read were a lot of biographies," Bouchard said. "I loved the pictures that were in there. I really felt like I was a part of it."

Filling a 300- or 400 page book with photos will require a lot of snapshots. That's why the historical society is looking for help.

The historical society has already had good luck tracking down photos. One Rosemount resident brought in photos from the 1920s and from the 1980s. Now Bouchard is looking for more.

The historical society has already put together a five-page outline of significant events in Rosemount's history -- big things like the the construction of the Gopher Ordinance Works munitions plant on what is now UMore Park property. Book co-chair John Loch has read through newspaper stories as far back as he can find and come up with some interesting stories, too. But the group is looking for more mundane photos, too.

Bouchard is looking for family photos that come with a unique story and just about anything else that could help tell the story of Rosemount's past -- or the city's present.

"What happens today is tomorrow's history," Bouchard said. "We're taking (the book) right up to now. Whether (a submission) is used in the book or not depends on everything we receive. If nothing else, it will be retained as history of Rosemount."

This particular history of Rosemount has been a long time coming. Historical society members have been planning to write Rosemount's history since they formed the group in 1995, but a project like this takes time, resources and money.

The historical society will pay for its book with an endowment from the family of Hap Hanson. Hanson was superintendent of Independent School District 196 from 1959 to 1972 and he was a longtime supporter of Rosemount, Bouchard said. The family foundation wanted to see a book published about the city and chose to work with the historical society to get it done.

Bouchard hopes to have the book published by the end of 2011. Anyone with photos or stories to share can call Bouchard at 423-4603 or Loch at 952-255-8545 or e-mail