Lois Werner has resigned as archivist for Brookfield Historical Society, leaving a void that officials said will be hard to fill.
Werner, who will remain a member of the society, said personal issues have left her unable to “keep up with all the demands for my time.”
“It is time to pass the responsibilities on to the next generation,” she said.
“She’s done a lot, and she’s not going to be easy to replace,” said society President Barbara Stevens.
Werner created an index of the society’s holdings and managed access to the society’s office in the Brookfield Township Administration Building.
Werner’s list of accomplishments includes leading the restoration of the old part of Brookfield Township Cemetery, and photographing and recording each marker; researching the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery and obtaining new headstones for five Revolutionary War vets; leading cemetery walks and presenting programs on the War of 1812, coal mines and historic homes; photographing and researching 200 homes that were built prior to 1899 and creating a driving tour and DVD of historic homes.
Werner, who recently moved to Hubbard, also applied for the society’s tax-exempt status, administered the society’s Facebook page and created the time line of township events posted on the outer wall of the society’s office in the administration building.
In the interim, Stevens will control access to the office and Vice President Dawn Burns will take over the Facebook page.
The question remains of who from the next generation might be interested in accepting the passed torch. Officials at the society’s Sept. 13 meeting, which was attended by 14 people, talked about how difficult it has become for the small group of officers to run the organization and come up with ideas for programs.
“We don’t want this to fall apart, and we want to keep this going,” Stevens said. “We’re going to need some help.”
Officers asked for help in creating programs and noted there will not be a cemetery tour this year because of the amount of work involved in organizing one. They said they hope to do future cemetery tours.
“It’s kind of hard for a handful of people to do the same thing over and over again,” Burns said. “We don’t want this to be a one-sided group. We want everyone to participate.”
“Everyone” including young people.
“We have an opportunity to spark the interest in history in young people,” Stevens said. “It only takes a couple of kids to say, ‘That’s really cool.’”
The society meets at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at Briceland Funeral Service, 379 Route 7, Brookfield. There are no meetings in December, June, July or August, and the May meeting is a banquet typically held at a local restaurant.