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Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home intern has summer unlike one she expected

Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home intern has summer unlike one she expected
Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Museum intern Kelsie Willert sits on the porch of the home south of Charles City. (Submitted photo)
Press Staff Report

When Kelsie Willert accepted the position as intern for the Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Museum near Charles City, she planned on helping out with lots of fun activities.

Then came COVID.

Cheryl Erb, president of the National 19th Amendment Society, which operates the Girlhood Home and Museum, said Willert accepted the position in February, before the extent of the impact of the new coronavirus was apparent.

“Carrie’s Girlhood Home Museum had a terrific, event-filled summer arranged. And Kelsie was anticipating the variety of events she would help with,” Erb said.

“Nevertheless, even though events have been postponed, Kelsie has been very active with planning the first ever Virtual Prairie Day Camp and it is shaping up nicely, thanks to Kelsie’s skills,” Erb said. “Talk about the 1800s meeting the 21st century!”

Willert is from Bolan, a small town between St. Ansgar and Northwood.

“I am a 2016 graduate of St. Ansgar High School, 2018 graduate of NIACC, and a 2020 graduate of Grand View University with a bachelor’s degree in history,” she said.

“My passion for history originated at an early age on a bicycle. My mother would bring my brother and I with her on bicycle tours and when we weren’t riding on the bike my brother and I were with grandma in the support vehicle visiting museums, historical sites, and anything of interest along the route,” she said.
Some of those tours included the Mississippi River Trail, Lewis & Clark Trail, and most recently Route 66, she said.

She also played basketball at NIACC and Grand View University, and will be attending the University of Northern Iowa’s graduate in history program with a concentration in public history this fall.

“I have enjoyed learning about Carrie Chapman Catt’s life and legacy while working with strong and determined women just like her,” Willert said.

She said she was eager to help at at the Girlhood Home and Museum over the summer, and use the knowledge she gained from the experience in her future endeavors.