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Larson filling in as executive director at Bonanzaville

Barbara Larson has assumed the duties and responsibilities of the executive director position on a temporary basis at Bonanzaville U.S.A., in West Fargo, until a fulltime executive director is hired. She is filling the spot vacated by Bruce Whitmarsh, who resigned his position Nov. 24, to pursue other career opportunities.

Larson, who resides in Fargo, has previous connections with Bonanzaville serving as events, volunteer, and docent coordinator from 2002 until 2006.

Her personal roots also go back to the pioneer village. "I have a very close affiliation because I grew up familiar with many of the buildings. I've always been concerned about Bonanzaville being successful because of the preservation of our heritage. I have a great passion for it."

"The Hagen house is closest to my heart as it was the home of my grandparent's aunt. My grandparents and I spent many summer afternoons visiting there. Growing up in Horace, the Thue Brink Store was also a great part of my early years and I remember going to both."

Larson said her goal in her newfound role will be to step up the docent and volunteer program, striving to secure a volunteer for "each and every building at Bonanzaville." Anyone interested in being involved with the endeavor is encouraged to contact Larson at 282-2822.

Sylvan Melroe, president of the board of directors of the Cass County Historical Society at Bonanzaville, said the group is pleased and happy to have Larson on board. "She is a very organized lady who knows a lot of people and just gets things done."

Melroe also has a long affiliation with the group, serving on the board for three years and as its president since last April. Prior to that, he dedicated a 20-year span to volunteering at the pioneer village.

As part of the recent action affecting Bonanzaville in a big way, Melroe said the plan is to move in the village's most recent acquisition, the elevator donated from the Hank Trangsrud farm, northeast of Kindred. The plan is to move it to the Raymond Interchange on Monday Dec. 21, and then Tuesday morning, at approximately 9 a.m., finish the relocation from the interchange to Bonanzaville, all weather permitting.