When it comes to Frankfort’s past perhaps no one is more knowledgeable than Russ Hatter, who has been city historian at the Capital City Museum for the past eight years and served as assistant city curator for 11 years prior to that, which is why we are saddened to hear the news that Hatter is retiring.

Hatter, who is most notably known for his popular walking history tours in Frankfort, was hired as city historian — a newly created position — in 2013. Throughout his extensive career, he also helped establish the Capital City Museum, which recently underwent a 12-month renovation.

“He has been the face, the heart and the soul of the museum, and now, like a retiring college president who leaves behind an institution with increased graduation rates, enrollment and endowment, the new historian of the Capital City Museum will begin their work at the crest of the wave Russ created,” John Baughman, president of the museum, said.

Frankfort resident Beth Shields, who has extensive records archiving and management experience and previously worked locally at the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Historical Society, has been tapped as his successor and Hatter sings her praises.

“I have no doubt that Beth is the person who can continue the tradition of the Museum helping residents of Frankfort and Franklin County to better understand and know the City of Frankfort and its past,” he said calling her both smart and savvy.

Shields has a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education with a social studies focus and a Master of Science in library science from the University of Kentucky.

We would like to welcome and congratulate Shields on her new position and we hope the local community does the same.

And while we will sorely miss Hatter and thank him for long service to the city, we doubt he’ll be a stranger.

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