Mary Schmidt photo

Mary Schmidt at the Historical Museum of St. Gertrude’s in Cottonwood.

Boise — Grangeville resident Mary Schmidt is among 12 in the state of Idaho who will be honored by the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) later this month.

The Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS) is hosting the 2021 Esto Perpetua awards ceremony Monday, Aug. 23. ISHS is recognizing nine individuals and three organizations with Esto Perpetua awards for outstanding accomplishments in preserving and promoting Idaho’s heritage this year.

“Each recipient has demonstrated a truly exceptional level of achievement in their efforts to preserve a part of Idaho’s heritage,” said ISHS Executive Director Janet L. Gallimore.

Schmidt was the project director for the Historical Museum at the St. Gertrude’s recent renovation project in Cottonwood.

“The mission of the museum is to preserve the rich heritage of not only the Monastery of St. Gertrude, but also that of the Camas Prairie, Snake River, Salmon River and surrounding areas,” said Schmidt.

The project was completed in spring of this year.

“It has been a lot of work,” Schmidt admitted, “But we wanted to make sure we were best relaying the values of the sisters and sharing our area’s history through stories.

The remodel includes the Monastery of St. Gertrude’s Benedictine “Sisters’ Journey Gallery.” This exhibit weaves through the museum and tells the story of the Idaho Benedictine sisters, including their journey from Europe to America. This story of their lives includes their relocation to Cottonwood and the blue porphyry stone quarried from the mountains behind the monastery and used as cornerstones for the convent.

The Esto Perpetua award ceremony will be hosted at the Idaho State Museum and is open to the public. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the program will begin at 5:30. Tickets must be purchased in advance at HISTORY.IDAHO.GOV/ESTO or by calling 208-514-2302.

2021 Esto Perpetua awardees also include Taft Tunnel Preservation Society, Wallace; Steve Russell, Ames, Iowa; Jack and Belva Lawson, Grandview; Gerald (Jerry) Eichhorst, Boise; Hanako Wakatsuki-Chong, Twin Falls; Wood River Land Trust, Hailey; Jack Taylor, American Falls; Jerry Stoor, Henry; Luke Waldron, Malad City; Portneuf Pioneers, Pocatello; and Judge William Stibal Pettite, Fair Oaks, Calif.

ISHS and the Idaho Humanities Council will also present the 2020 Sister Alfreda Award to the Idaho Black History Museum. The Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award for Outstanding Service was initiated in 2008 as a joint award given annually to recognize outstanding service by an Idaho museum, historical society, or interpretive organization/association.

2021 marks the 22nd year of the Esto Perpetua awards. The award takes its name from the state’s motto, “let it be perpetual.” Since the award was created in 1999, ISHS has recognized the efforts of more than 100 individuals and organizations throughout the state of Idaho.

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