Wisconsin Author Speaks at NHHS Annual Meeting
Author Kathleen Ernst, author of the Chloe Ellefson historic mystery series, was the keynote speaker at the New Holstein Historical Society Annual Meeting on January. 23 at the Altona.
There are six Chloe mysteries published to date and a seventh will appear later this year. All of the books either take place in Wisconsin, or have a Wisconsin connection.
Ms. Ernst grew up "out East", but migrated to Wisconsin, post-college, for a six month internship. "And I just never left," she related. The internship was at the historical site Old World Wisconsin and eventually the experience turned into a 12 year career as an OWW curator. The first of the Chloe books is titled "Old World Murder" and introduces Chloe Ellefson as a curator at Old World Wisconsin. Ms. Ernst's historical mysteries combine factual locations and objects with fictitious characters and events.
The author explained, to those in attendance, that when she was a child her mother planned vacations around stops at various locations, many with a historical feature. and encouraged she and her sisters to research the planned stops before hand so they knew what they might see and understand why it was significant. She credits these experiences as being a catalyst for her love of history and storytelling.
After her 12 year stint at Old World Wisconsin, Ms. Ernst moved on to write naratives for feature segments on public television. Many of these productions were historical in nature and focused on events, people, and places in Wisconsin. During this time period she was also a self titled "part-time"author. That title has now been reduced to simply "author" and in addition to the six (and don't forget the seventh on the way) Chloe books, Ms. Ernst has written two-non fiction books and many books for the American Girl series. In all, she counts over 30 published works.
More information about the Chloe Ellefson mysteries, as well as about Ms. Ernst herself, may be found at www.kathleenernst.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/kathleenernst.author.
In the business portion of the annual meeting NHHS President Terry Thiessen gave a short report on NHHS activities in the past year. He thanked those in attendance and others who were not able to be present for their support of the NHHS both through volunteer help and monetary assistance. He also shared NHHS goals for 2016.
Three board member were elected during the meeting. Incumbents Ginny Curry and Greg Hageman were re-elected and Donna Heus was elected as a new member to the board. Incumbent director Barb Weber had declined to run for re-election and President Thiessen thanked her for her years of service on the Board and to the NHHS in general. A fourth board position is still open as another incumbent, Helen Hallstrom recently announced her resignation. Helen's many contributions to the NHHS were also noted by Thiessen. Anyone who might be interested in filling that position is asked to contact Thiessen or one of the other NHHS board members.