Photo by the Rochester Post-Bulletin newspaper of the late Polly Jelinek, a self-described “river rat,” as she posed in January 2007 along the Cedar River with Austin’s stone-arched Roosevelt Bridge (4th St SE) in the background. Jelinek, a lifelong Austin resident, local historian and retired teacher, died earlier this month at age 87. The photo was for a story on the Roosevelt Bridge’s upcoming restoration written by then-P-B reporter Tim Ruzek, who today is the outreach coordinator for the Cedar River Watershed District in Austin.

LOOKBACK: Honoring Polly’s passion for local history

CRWD’s Tim Ruzek pays tribute to major influence on his historical interest in Austin, Cedar River

Three goodbyes.

Photo by the Austin Daily Herald of Polly Jelinek showing CRWD administrator Justin Hanson some of her old photos related to the Cedar River in April 2012 during a kickoff event for the river becoming an official “state water trail.”
Photo by the Austin Daily Herald — Polly Jelinek (on right) takes part in a media event in April 2012 to celebrate the start of the Cedar River as an official “state water trail” under the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) program. Also pictured are (left to right) CRWD board member Mike Merten; CRWD administrator Justin Hanson; State Sen. Dan Sparks; DNR parks and trails area supervisor Joel Wagar; and State Rep. Jeanne Poppe.
Polly Jelinek’s mother, Irene Madison, stands near her flooded home next to the Roosevelt Bridge in July 1978. Photo and article by the Minneapolis Star.
Old postcard from the early 1900s (colorized online) of Polly Jelinek’s family boat-rental business on the Cedar River just upstream from today’s Roosevelt Bridge (4th St SE) in Austin.
One of Polly Jelinek’s great-uncles sits along the Cedar River in the early 1900s as part of the family’s boat livery that rented watercraft near today’s Roosevelt Bridge (4th St SE) in Austin.

Formed in 2007, CRWD works to reduce flooding and improve water quality on the Cedar River State Water Trail and its tributaries in southern Minnesota.