Cam Erickson is executive director of the Stevens County Historical Society and Museum. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

Cam Erickson, director of the Stevens County Historical Society and Museum, brought some historical perspective of how our area has dealt with pandemics with a KMRS Community Connection discussion of the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918. She related some stories from her recent front page article in the museum’s newsletter, The Prairie Outlook, about closures of public meetings and businesses, and included this cautionary tale:

“So it kind of started the beginning of October, and then they saw a decrease in cases in mid-November,” said Erickson. “So they started lifting the bans. In fact, kind of about the time that they ran that in the newspaper that they were going to do that, shortly after that it came back and it hit harder than ever.”

And when the Spanish Flu came back, it hit particularly hard the West Central School of Agriculture, which had students from all over. The school had not had too many cases early on, but after the ban was lifted there was huge outbreak at the school, resulting in nearly 40 people getting sick and two students dying. The museum opens its doors for regular hours starting today.


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