Stearns History Museum Staff


For general inquiries questions

please email or contact the staff below at 320-253-8424.


Carie Essig - Executive Director

Ann Meline - Deputy Director

Rod Runge - Finance Coordinator

Gena Hiemenz - Development Associate & Marketing Coordinator

Joanie Albers - Visitor Services


Eric Cheever - Exhibits/Collections Curator

Caitlin Carlson - Program Curator


Steve Penick - Head Archivist 

Jessica Storlien - Archivist

John Decker - Archivist

Cindy Meyer - Archivist


 Carie's Corner

Hello from the Stearns History Museum!

What a wonderful beginning!  As I’m writing this note, the new ceiling tiles are in place, the fire suppressant system is filling with water (no leaks!) and our bright future is reflected in the granite walls of our entry way illuminated with new LED lights.  As any of you who grew up in the ‘80s will appreciate… “the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”  On page 9 in Crossings you will see a list of project donors as of June 30.  We are grateful for your support and we thank those who gave after the June 30.  You will be honored in the next edition of Crossings.  

I have already met so many wonderful people and seen so many amazing places around the county.  Special thanks to the Board of Directors, and particularly John Bodette and Barb Carlson, who have opened doors to so many donors and friends of the Museum. They made sure I had an opportunity to attend St. Cloud Rotary Club and I attended the Women’s Fund’s “Dancing with our Stars” event.  I experienced Breakfast at the Farm. I met Century Farm families in June. I joined a group of school children in Cold Spring for “Dam Days.” I also met as many residents as I could at the Taproom Takeover at Third Street Brewhouse.  One of my most memorable days featured a tour of Bayer Built near Belgrade.  I also enjoyed the afternoon at Quarry Park celebrating their 20th anniversary.  I’m sure there are others I’ve forgotten to mention, but every meeting, program and opportunity is etched in my memory. I look forward to many more memories to come. 

During the next several months, you will hear from us often.  By the time this article appears in print, and thanks to your dedicated staff, many of the galleries and the children’s play area will be open.  In the children’s area, a puppet theater, new diner and produce store will be open for play.  We are constructing new exhibits to highlight our always popular Pan car.  The ‘70s exhibit will be “stayin’ alive” for another season.  If you haven’t been in lately, please come check out all the changes. 

Planning is everything.  During the next several months staff and board of directors will be writing a new strategic plan for the organization.  The new plan will set the vision so you know where we’re going and when we hope to get there.  As the roadmap to our future unfolds, we will share and ask for input from members and friends.  Without you, we cannot plan ahead. 

With all good plans and projects comes a need for support.  Today’s museum was built on a solid foundation of donors.  We are stepping up the pace of upgrades and improvements. We are counting on your support.

My next big adventure is to travel to city historical museums and historical places throughout the County and then share some of those adventures at the Breakfast Club in August.  If you haven’t met me ,August 8 would be a great day to visit the museum. You can visit me anytime. My door is always open and I look forward to hearing from you.  

My family is settling into Stearns County. We’ve been playing tennis, taking long walks and enjoying the Summertime by George! concerts.  We try to get to a new place every weekend.  

Thank you for your support!  


For sponsorships and monetary contributions contact  Carie Essig

For school tours and program information contact Caitlin Carlson

For information on genealogy, research  contact Steve Penick or Jessica Storlien.

For object donations to the artifact collections contact Eric Cheever or Steve Penick.







Stearns History Museum • 235-33rd Avenue South • St. Cloud, MN  56301   

(320) 253-8424 •