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January - March 2009     VOLUME 13 ISSUE 1
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East Lake Historical Society

This article was written by Amy C. Rippel and was published in the Dec 11, 2008 edition of the Lake Sentinel about the East Lake Historical Society that meets at the East Lake County Library

Enthusiastic group piecing together history of East Lake

Amy C. Rippel | Special to the Sentinel
December 11, 2008

They've compiled history, archived the past and helped plan for the future.

Members of the newly formed East Lake Historical Society are excited about their new group and the prospects it brings.

The group is aimed at preserving the history of the Plymouth and Sorrento areas. Scott Amey, a senior library assistant in the East Lake County Library, started it as a loosely organized group early this year. It was a way to bring area history buffs together.

Nearly a year later, it has taken off. The group incorporated, elected board members and started a Web site. Many of the 17 members have worked to gather history.

Les Weinmann, the group's president, said the historical society spreads the word about the area's past, helping those curious about this growing area's history.

"The new residents would benefit from us because they would learn about the heritage of our area," he said.

Amey started the group because area newcomers constantly asked about town history. He didn't like not having answers. Just a couple of people attended the first meeting in February. Then word started spreading. And more and more interested people showed up to the monthly meetings.

Maggie Fisher, the group's secretary and a 50-year Sorrento resident, said it has been a joy discovering more about her community.

"This is just home and the history of Sorrento is very exciting," she said. "It's very interesting to me, and I want to preserve it because there's a lot of good history here."

Fisher said the group has been busy. Members have interviewed longtime residents to get their perspective on the area's history. They have documented the information through handwritten notes and photos, and they will soon be on the group's Web site.

The group also has researched some of the area's old buildings. Fisher said the members love helping residents answer local history questions.

She said Amey, named the group's historian, was the catalyst behind making the group what it is today.

"[He] is the mind and heart behind it all," she said.

Amey said he's thrilled to see the outcome of his work.

"It just kind of grew and grew and grew," he said. "We have at least 15 to 20 show up at every meeting."

The group will continue to research local history and hopes to find more local residents with old photos and memories.