Volunteer Spotlight: Rick Engelhardt
Rick Engelhardt, one of our volunteers at the Chaska History Center, is the researcher of the popular Herald Reports in the ChaskaHerald published by Southwest Media. If you are not familiar with it, the format is like ‘’This Day in History,’’ included in other publications.
Rick spends hours each week reliving life in Chaska, at times going all the way back to 1862. He sifts through the tiny print of the old newspapers, looking for interesting tidbits of history, neighborhood newsiness, social observations, business practices, and the culture and education of the times. Rick’s favorite quips come from the late 1800s to around 1910. Chaska was an upstart hamlet back then and everyone knew everyone else’s business - and it was frequently reported in the Herald. Rick loves the old-fashioned language of those times - the archaic vocabulary and sentences written with a different lilt and rhythm than we find in the modern era.
Rick retired in 2014 and was looking for a pastime. His mother had volunteered at the Chaska History Center and his family has deep roots in the community, so he was naturally drawn to the preserving and promoting the character of his hometown. He began researching Chaska history for the Herald Reports almost right away. After seven years of looking deeply into these old newspapers, Rick Engelhardt is undoubtedly a valued historian of Chaska.
By Julie Wiese