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Creston’s museum manager celebrates 25 years

It has been 25 years since Tammy Bradford was hired as Creston’s Museum manager.

And she says it’s been an amazing time so far.

Bradford says it was her first real museum job, after working as a tour guide.

When the Creston job opened up, she was working in Grand Forks on a six-month project.

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When asked why she’s hung around for so long, she laughed:

“Well, basically, I love what I do.”

“I was breaking into the field, and everybody was saying, five years in Creston, you’ll get some experience under your belt, and you can go wherever you want. Well, I decided I didn’t want to go anywhere else because it’s just so much fun. It’s such an awesome community and a great place to be. ”

Bradford says she never planned on settling in Creston. She grew up in Balfour and Creston was always just a stop on the road.

“It was just this place that we drove through on our way somewhere else. I’d never imagined myself spending the rest of my life in Creston. If you’d asked me 25 years ago where I thought I might wind up, I doubt Creston would have even been on the list. But it’s wonderful.”

She says she loves the wide, open spaces and the mountain ranges surrounding the valley.

“You’ve got everything you need, but it’s also a small town, so you can know everybody, and it’s just great.”

When looking back at her 25 years of hard work, Bradford says she was most proud of the connection between the museum and the community.

Before Bradford, the museum had no permanent employees and was run entirely by volunteers.

Bradford says, although the volunteers did a wonderful job, a permanent employee allowed for those connections to develop.

“I’m here 40 or 50 hours a week. I can make those connections. I could go out and talk to people and go into seniors’ homes and schools and community events and organizations and do all of these things. We’ve very much got the museum out of the museum if that makes any sense.”

Twenty-five years down, and many to go, says Bradford.

She’s proud of the work done and is excited about the future.

“Bigger and better. There’s always something. The collection is constantly growing. The community is constantly changing. There are always new stories to be told, and I’m looking very forward to being able to tell at least some of them.”

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