My parents moved to Silver Bay in 1956 and I was born shortly thereafter. I am one of the first generation of children to grow up in the newly created town of Silver Bay, Minnesota. During those early years, Silver Bay thrived with the influx of new, mostly young residents who were starting families. The schools were new and I was one of those who benefited from the largesse of Reserve Mining company’s community support. Looking back, I credit that environment for giving me a great education, creating life-long friendships and preparing me for life as an adult. I also credit my upbringing for fostering a sense of community responsibility.

While career and family took me away from Silver Bay for many years, I was thrilled with the opportunity to return to my hometown once I retired. Since returning, I’ve become involved in many community service activities but the one organization I’ve become particularly drawn to is the Bay Area Historical Society. The organization is led by a group of dedicated residents whose primary focus is documenting the wealth of knowledge and memories from community members, particularly the original residents. I believe that as a member of that “first generation” of children, I bring an additional perspective to the history of Silver Bay that will enrich the documented history of this unique, “company town”.

As the Society moves forward, we are furthering our goal of preserving our history by creating digital copies of our physical collections. This is a daunting undertaking that will require significant time. In addition to more securely safeguarding our collections, it will also enable us to share our history with researchers and others who live outside of the area.

Please consider volunteering with the Bay Area Historical Society. You do not need to commit a large amount of your time and you do not need to live in the Bay area. There are many ways that you can help and we would be thrilled to have you join us. If you share my interest in local history and are willing to discuss volunteer opportunities, please send an email to volunteer@bayareahistoricalsociety.com.

Mary Stefanich Hoffman

How You Can Help

The Bay Area Historical Society is built on its volunteers. Please join our members in the pursuit of documenting stories of Silver Bay, Beaver Bay and the surrounding area. There are so many ways you can be involved.

Write down your memories
Your memories and knowledge base are very important to us. Write them down, scan related pictures and email them to us at volunteer@bayareahistoricalsociety.com. You are the source of our history.

Donate your memorabilia
Support us by donating historical artifacts (school items, scrapbooks, buttons, Reserve Mining items, etc.). Giving to our museum is a great way to protect a piece of your and the Bay Area Historical Society’s history.

Volunteer your time
If you live locally, we need help scanning and preserving our collection. If you live outside of the area, contact us. Let’s chat about how you can help. Contact us at volunteer@bayareahistoricalsociety.com if you are interested.

Become a Member
For as little as $15.00, you can join the Bay Area Historical Society and participate in our activities.

Donate money
All donations are accepted and greatly appreciated as we are a 501©(3) non-profit organization. To give a monetary gift or memorial, please click the button below. Alternatively, you can mail a donation to us at Bay Area Historical Society, PO Box 33, Silver Bay, MN 55614.