Who Are the MsStorians?

MsStorian Adventures

Who Are the MsStorians?

Vicki Foss, Yvonne Doust, Leigh Melby, and I (Julie Jo Larson) are the MsStorians, a group of women whose passion is to solve Brainerd Lakes Area’s history mysteries.

We’ve toured some of Crow Wing County’s oldest buildings in search of tunnels, located an abandoned cemetery in Wealthwood where a black Civil War veteran and members of his community are buried, and even took part in a Northeast Brainerd privy dig. (After 100 years, the privy only contained glass bottles, old dishes, porcelain doll heads, and a few buttons.)

We each had a part in the adventures. Vicki was our photographer, catching images to document our process. Yvonne and Leigh grew up in the area and provided behind the scenes information and additional questions. My primary contribution was conducting research and locating people for interviews. We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun- and we only spent a few minutes in jail-the Crow Wing County Historical Society’s jail cell.

Lake Country Journal readers followed our adventures, and even contributed their ideas and suggestions for future articles, such as:

  • Indian Jack
  • Carnegie Libraries
  • Lost Towns of the Northland

Each adventure left us hungry for the following Thursday. Why Thursday you ask? Thursday was adventure day because I worked four days a week at Central Lakes College. My partners in MsStorian shenanigans were able to change their schedules to match mine. I’m grateful for their patience as I wandered and wondered across the state.

Most of our adventures were historic in nature. But once in a while, we’d get a hankering for something different. That’s how we ended up in Thunder Bay, Ontario for a long weekend in 2017. Agates were picked on the shores of Lake Superior before we crossed the border. I drove the MsStorians to the Amethyst Mine Panorama for an afternoon of amethyst mining (it was my 15th time at the mine). The trunk of my car was so full of purple gemstones, I thought we’d bottom out on the dirt road. We went back to the hotel exhausted and in need of a warm shower.

Good memories. Good friends.

My book: 100 Things to Do in Minnesota Northwoods Before You Die can be found on my website: JULIEJOLARSON.COM . Several of the “Things” are based off of MsStorian Adventures. Now you know about the story behind MsStorians Adventures!