The Kutsche Office of Local History at Grand Valley State University presented two local historians with the Gordon Olson Award at a recent gathering.
Wallace “Wally” Ewing and Margaret (Peg) Finkelstein each received the award at the Local History Roundtable last month. The Olson Lifetime Contribution of Local History Award recognizes individuals for using history to give voice to diverse communities. It is named for Olson, former Grand Rapids historian.
- Ewing has dedicated more than 20 years to researching and writing about the history of West Michigan, particularly the area between Holland and Muskegon and east to Coopersville and Grand Rapids. He has written 14 books and continues a bi-weekly column in the Grand Haven Tribune.
Ewing joined the board of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum in 1994 and was appointed its curator of education, and has since devoted his time to research and writing.
- Finkelstein has conducted lifelong research on logging, and is the keeper of her family history, which can be traced to the New France settlement of Quebec. She is the director of the Peg & Mort Finkelstein Archives at Temple Emanuel in Grand Rapids, with a goal to preserve the Jewish history within the Grand Rapids communities.
Finkelstein was invited by the director of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan to work on its current project, Michigan Women Who Have Made A Difference, Jewish Voices Project.
The Kutsche Office of Local History sponsors the Local History Roundtable annually for librarians, archivists, community members, educators and others who share a passion for local history. Learn more at www.gvsu.edu/kutsche.