Museum mainstays

Art and Karen Peterson made a major impact as volunteers at the Wheels Across the Prairie. A Chicago & Northwestern depot, moved in from Volga, SD., was refurbished from top to bottom by Art Peterson.

‘Wheels’ honors Art & Karen Peterson

By Seth Schmidt

Art and Karen Peterson have joined elite company at the Wheels Across the Prairie Museum.
An engraved plaque honoring the Petersons for years of dedication to the museum was unveiled at a May 20 open house. The plaque was installed alongside placards honoring museum legends Mary Lou Ludeman, and Dorthey and Bill Pamp.
The Petersons, who stepped down from the museum board several years ago, were instrumental in numerous museum improvements since the 1990s. Art superintended many restorations and maintenance projects; with Karen organizing collections and helping set up museum exhibits.
“We really appreciate everything both of you have done,” said Jon Wendorff, Wheels Museum board president. “You’ve done an awful lot.”
Art Peterson was president of the Wheels board for about eight years. Karen served a similar stint as the board’s historian.
“The museum was a real love of ours,” Karen reflected. “We spent a lot of time here.”
Art said that he, too, had enjoyed his work with the museum, but felt it was time for new leadership to take over. A worsening condition with his eyesight, he explained, has made it impossible for him to do the work he once did.
Both Petersons said they are proud of the Wheels museum, and complimented the current volunteers for their current efforts.

See this week’s Headlight-Herald, for more on this article.