Meet the staff: Devan Burnett

_DSC1331-2 Name: Devan Burnett

Hometown: Cold Spring, Minn.

Twitter: @hoffasnotdead


My Beat: The industrial history that wove the fabric of our community. That weird storefront around the block. The foundation in a vacant lot that piques the curiosity of a passerby.

My Job: Website maintenance and graphic design work. I help keep the show running behind the curtain, and try to keep things clean and tidy on the outside.

My Voice: I clearly remember seeing my first bit of abandoned industry. I was four or five years old, on one of the first roadtrips from my small hometown to the big city with my parents. A yellow brick warehouse with missing panes of glass adorned a dingy street.

"Mom, can we go inside?"

My request was met with a resounding "NO."

A fascination with old stuff, and how that old stuff works, has been my primary passion as far as I can remember.  In my freetime, I'm probably poring over old Sanborn fire maps or scratched black and white prints of a structure.  If I'm not at my desk or in an archive, I'm out in the field, documenting what history is left before it crumbles.  The 'people' aspect of this is what really draws me in – the individuals that worked to create something, the workers that made up a particular industry's lifeblood, and their mark left behind long after the doors closed for the last time.

I have attended UMD since 2009 (aside from an odd year as an auto mechanic in St. Paul, Minn.) and live in Duluth, where I also base a small business that deals with selling handmade goods online.  My other strong interests are centered around cooking, coffee, music, vintage clothing, cameras and hoarding weird small motorcycles.

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