Wednesday, March 14, 2012 By Aaron Brown
That particular change infuriated many, including the Range's most preeminent working historian Pam Brunfelt. She publicly pulled her support of the institution. But after some tense years, the Minnesota Discovery Center has reorganized into a much more fiscally sound and Iron Range-centered organization. Gone are the attempts to turn the facility into a big concert venue or theme park, replaced by the more realistic realization that the place is simply a really cool museum and library dedicated to telling the story of the Range.
As it should be.
This week Brunfelt announced she was reversing her earlier decision and has now signed on as a principle historical advisor for the museum's new, updated Iron Range exhibit. Anyone who's been to the old Ironworld is familiar with the original Iron Range display that had been there since the 1980s. That display is being rebuilt and modernized, much to the delight of area history fans such as myself.
Brunfelt calls on people to support the Minnesota Discovery Center with their memberships and donations. My family has a membership in the MDC and it's very affordable. The kids love the interactive displays and trolley rides and there's usually something interesting going on there to boot. With enough support she hopes to see the name updated one last time to say Minnesota Iron Range Discovery Center. I'm with her on that, too.
(Disclosure: I have done contract work for the MDC in the past, including lectures and some writing. Brunfelt was a key source in my book "Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range.)"