Welcome to the Official Website for Richard Proenneke . American Naturalist
May 4, 1916 - April 20, 2003
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will include artifacts, items, photographs, and objects Richard used or collected during the time he spent living alone in the cabin he built by hand in Twin Lakes, Alaska. His cabin and surroundings is now a National Park, and has been preserved to lead those interested to read his now-famous journals. The Proenneke family lived in nearby Primrose, Iowa. The proposal is to re-create part of Richard's Cabin and display the artifacts and mementos his family and friends have bequeathed and loaned to the Library. Above is the proposed layout of the Richard Proenneke Museum to be located in the new Donnellson Public Library.
This rendering depicts Richard's table/desk & chair in front of his famous picture window with the view he saw as he sat writing in his journals. Next to the table is his bookcase. Richard's famous stone fireplace, his cabinet, and bunk beds will be a prominent part of the Museum room. Being housed on the lower bunk is the Kodiak Grizzly Richard shot on Kodiak Island in 1950. The Kodiak Grizzly will be enclosed in glass on the lower bunk to allow the viewers to be able to see the Grizzly and other artifacts. Above the mantle will be replicas of Richard's rifle and snowshoes.
This rendering depicts Richard's famous Dutch Door with his handmade wooden hinges. The two outside tables are on either side of his cabin door in the "porch" area. It is important for the viewer to see the actual size of Richard's cabin footprint and realize just how small his cabin really is. The side walls are less than six feet high, the two end peaked walls including the top beam are approximatey 7 1/2 feet high. Yet, Richard has everything he needed to live in relative comfort at Twin Lakes, AK. A portion of Richard's roof is replicated over his porch area to show the viewer the roof pole beams and squirrel stops, and his sod roof.
Outside the actual cabin area is reserved for exhibiting various items and artifacts and mementos.
One of the prominent features on display in the exhibit area will be the Richard L Proenneke Timeline from his birth at Primrose, IA, in 1916, to his death in 2003, and his final resting place on Proenneke Peak, Twin Lakes, AK. The timeline spans more than 13 feet and takes the viewer on Richard's Lifelong Journey, and his transformation. Built in the top of the storage units will be display cases to house the various items, artifacts and mementos that have been loaned or given to the Richard Proenneke Museum.
The Friends of Donnellson Public Library, a 501C-3 organization, was formed in 2012 to assist the Donnellson Public Library in reaching the goal for a new Public Library. The purpose of the Friends shall be to maintain an association of persons interested in good library service; to increase the facilities and service of the Donnellson Public Library; and thus to enrich the cultural opportunities available to the citizens of Donnellson, IA.
The activities of the Association shall include sponsorship of special projects; informing the public of the resources and services of the library, raising funds for library projects, securing materials that are beyond the command of the ordinary library budget, and performing other services deemed helpful to the Library.
Richard Proenneke's family made the decision to entrust the Donnellson Library with the artifacts and mementos. At the December 2012 meeting of the Friends of Donnellson Library the group voted unanimously to receive The Richard Proenneke Fund organization into the Friends of Donnellson Library group. A Proenneke Committee was formed for the purpose of maintaining and preserving mementos and artifacts relating to Richard's life which will be on permanent display at the new Library. Funds raised will be used to house, promote and properly display the collection, and provide for safe storage, utility costs, and other expenses related to the placement of the exhibit at the new library.