The Washington County Historical Society will show “An Ode to Stillwater: John Runk Films” at the Washington County Heritage Center, 1862 S. Greeley St., Stillwater, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11.

Runk, a professional photographer in Stillwater for 65 years, used the most modern technology of the day to create his historic collection and he used film to document the landscape of the community, according to a press release from WCHS. Truly, a “home movie of his home town,” Runk put together these 8 mm films to document the growing community of Stillwater from the late 1940s to the early 1950s.

Among the many distinct historic scenes that Runk took were those of the Marine Ferry Crossing in operation; a Loggers’ baseball game against St. Paul Park; the Stillwater Country Club; Stillwater’s downtown business district just after the end of World War II; Pioneer and Lowell parks and ice cutting on the St. Croix River.

When opening the new Heritage Center, the WCHS decided that the first exhibit in the new Center should be about Runk, who collected the visual history of Stillwater and Washington County and was considered by the media as the “Person of the 20th Century” in Washington County, the release states.

WCHS received grants from the Minnesota Historical Society to transfer this film footage to digital and then received a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grant from the legacy funds and one from the Elks #179 of Stillwater, to put the film into a short documentary about John Runk and Stillwater, the release states.

The DVD will be available to purchase the evening of the showing.

The program is free to the public. Reservations not required.

For questions, contact or call 651-439-2298.

The Washington County Heritage Center is open from Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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