The Minnie Dole
Collection at Denver Public Library
listing of 18 boxes of papers from Charles Minot ("Minnie") Dole (1899-1976)
will soon be accessible on the internet. The on-line Finding Aid will give
researchers the capability of searching this great collection anytime, from
correspondence of Minnie Dole is preserved in this collection, showing how
he formed the National Ski Patrol and the 10th Mountain Division and kept
both operating when another, less-dedicated person would have given up. In
some of the correspondence we learned of a little dispute about who had the
original idea for each - Roland Palmedo or Dole. However, there is no doubt
about whose persistence and hard work brought those ideas to fruition.
As the 10th
Mountain Division was being formed in 1941-1942, the National Ski Patrol
recruited soldiers. Many of the letters from soldiers, as well as their
letters of recommendation, are in this collection and will be searchable by
name. Also, Dole saved many of the press releases from the Fifth Army
describing the actions of soldiers who received medals in the Italian
Campaign. These materials will also be searchable by name.
War II, Dole continued corresponding with many 10th Mountain veterans. He
also continued to try to persuade the U.S. Army to train soldiers in
mountain and winter warfare, though with less success this time (there is
correspondence about how useful the training would have been during the
Korean War). Writing articles and giving speeches, Dole attended many 10th
Mountain reunion activities, remaining close to many veterans until his
death in 1976.
continued with his National Ski Patrol correspondence after WWII. When he
was no longer as physically active as he had once been, Dole depended upon
letters to promote and govern the organization. Minnie actively worked with
many returning 10th veterans who joined the NSP and others who helped
develop the ski industry in the United States.
I was struck
by how easily Minnie made friends. He hated formality even if he had never
met the person he was writing to and it only took a couple of letters before
he was addressing the recipients with friendly nicknames.
incredible volume of letters he wrote over the decades, Minnie was in his
own way deeply private. He could be intensely open about the matters at hand
for the organizations, his own skiing and even his own health, but he rarely
mentioned his family or his religion and scrupulously kept confidences for
his friends. From this amazing collection of papers, I truly came to admire
Denver Public Library Website for this and other 10th Mountain Division
collections to appear in the Western History Manuscript Catalog.
Ann Brown ~
10 West 14th