The Dawson County Historical Museum is very fortunate to have two interns working for us this summer. Aaron Ray is a graduate student with the University of Nebraska in Kearney and Mekenzie Beattie is an undergraduate with the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Mekenzie will be spending her hours here at the museum going through Alfalfa Dehydrator’s Association archives. After the Association disbanded the Dawson County Historical Society received many boxes of information from the ADA. With the help of Terry Healy and John Montgomery, Mekenzie is working her way through each box (there are over 30) organizing and inventorying their contents.

Mekenzie Beattie grew up on her family’s diversified farm in Sumner, Nebraska and graduated from high school in 2018. Her main area of study at UNL is Agricultural Business and Agronomy. She loves being on the farm and is passionate about all things agriculture! Mekenzie is a great fit here at the Dawson County Museum because she says she loves learning about the past and this project gives her a great opportunity to combine agriculture and its history.

Aaron Ray graduated from Gretna high school in 2011. He then went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in History and German in 2015. After working for Professional Research Consultants for 3 years he decided to continue his education with history and is currently working on his Master’s Degree. In his free time, Aaron enjoys playing video games, reading historical fiction and science fiction (man after my own heart) and is often seen riding his bike around Kearney for exercise.

Since Aaron’s goal is to be in Museum Administration, he spends his days at the Dawson County Historical Museum doing many different things. We want to give him a taste of the diverse tasks necessary when working at a small museum. He is helping inventory our collections and entering them into Past Perfect. He’s an extra research assistant. We also tend to utilize his height—he sorted through projects on our tall shelves. He came in very handy when we needed to clean the outbuildings to get them ready for summer. Aaron has a great attitude and is willing to do anything we ask him. It may have taken him a bit to get used to all the ladies at the museum, but I think he’s getting used to us and all our little quirks.

I admit he’s teaching us almost as much as we’re teaching him.

I enjoy having Mekenzie and Aaron at the museum and I’m afraid the summer is going to go by way too fast. Stop in and meet them sometime. They have been a great addition to our team, and I will be sad to see them go.

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