New Ulm book showcases 120 historic sites

By Amanda Dyslin
Jul 20, 2006

Trying to make history interesting to youth is a tough challenge, but one Charis “Cj” Carmichael Braun was up to.

A New Ulm native and photographer for The Journal, Braun volunteered to lead the effort to compile and design a 130-page book called “Marking Time — An Illustrated Guide to Brown County’s Sites of Historical Interest.” The book was released Thursday.

“What I wanted to be appealing to the younger generation was an active pursuit of one’s local history,” said Braun, 26, who graduated from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato in 2005. “I find it absolutely necessary people know their local history. ... History is not for old people.”

Braun initially approached the Brown County Historical Society to ask Director Bob Burgess for a summer job in 2001. The society had no paid positions, but offered an internship through Bethany to design a historical brochure for Brown County.

During the next five years, the project snowballed as Braun did research on the numerous historical sites in the county. A book containing 120 historical sites was born.

Braun took most of the photographs featured in the book and helped design it. “Marking Time” mostly showcases the images of the sites, but contains text on the historical markers. If no marker accompanied a site, Braun wrote a short descriptive paragraph of its historical significance.

“There are many more sites than are pictured in the book,” Braun said. “There are about 170 sites in the county.”

Examples of sites pictured in the book range from the statue of Hermann the German, which most people are familiar with, and the lesser-known ghost town of Iberia. The book also contains maps, including a fold-out map of Brown County.

All sites in the book are publicly accessible.

Burgess is grateful for Braun’s years of hard work. The book will make historical sites more accessible to everyone, he said.

originally published:

Dyslin, Amanda. “New Ulm Book Showcases 120 Historic Sites.” Mankato Free Press, 21 July 2006. Print.