Gifts Will Help Put More than a Century of Local News Online

Sep 20, 2021 | News

MENOMINEE, MI — A new project at Spies Public Library will put the history of our area as recorded as far back as 1885 online for anyone to view.

A team from the University of Michigan will begin in 2022 to convert the microfilm records of the Menominee Democrat, the Menominee Herald Weekly and the Menominee Herald-Leader to an online searchable format. All family history documented in the local paper, such as births, deaths and marriages, as well as business openings and closings, and other major events will be available.

The project, and the funding that is making it possible were announced today by Paula Gruszynski, executive director of the M&M Area Community Foundation (MMACF), who will oversee a gift to the Foundation to help with the conversion of the newspaper records.

Gruszynski said the library’s efforts will be supported by the newly established Dina Johnson Meissner Memorial Fund. It is hoped that the Fund will grow with additional contributions from those who appreciate the opportunity to learn more about our history.

In addition to the Fund held at the MMACF, a direct gift of $10,000 was made to the Spies Public Library.

“This generous donation in the name of the late Dina Johnson Meissner will enable us to tackle the dozen rolls of microfilm most in jeopardy,” said Blair Nelson, director of the Spies Public Library. “After that, we can tackle the several hundred remaining rolls of newspaper records.”

The initial contributions were made in Meissner’s name because of both her interest in books and in the local paper, to which she subscribed, no matter where in the country she lived.

“This is exactly the kind of project, one that benefits our local community, for which the M&M Area Community Foundation was created,” Gruszynski said. “This memorial gift is the 128th Fund administered by the Foundation, all endowed to serve our communities.”

Anyone interested in contributing to the fund may contact the Community Foundation at 906.864.3599. Checks for this fund may be mailed to the MMACF at 1110 10th Avenue, Suite L-1, Menominee, MI 49858 or donations may be made online at

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