Photo of speaker Mary Palcich Keyes agains blue backgroundIron Range columnist Mary Palcich Keyes will present a lecture entitled “The Schools” That Did It All,” exploring the proud legacy of the public schools on the Iron Range. In the first decades of the 20th Century, these schools took in the adults and children of 43 ethnic groups, helping them to become Americans.

Keyes is familiar to area residents for her “Years of Yore” articles on Iron Range history in the Mesabi Tribune and affiliated newspapers, and her history stories in the Hometown Focus newspaper. Keyes has held leadership roles in the Hibbing Historical Society and represents them on the St. Louis County Historical Society Board of Governors.

Keyes was born and raised in Hibbing, graduating from Hibbing High School in 1975. She then attended the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, earning degrees in English, Speech/Theatre, and Secondary Education. She taught Senior English for 18 years at Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood., and then taught for four years at the Minnesota History Center in downtown St. Paul. She and her husband Joe returned to her hometown of Hibbing in 2003 where they owned and operated Howard Street Booksellers as a storefront until 2015. They are active in the Historical Society and lead tours of historic Hibbing and its high school.