Appanoose County Historical Society
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5/23/13 - We have a busy month ahead of us!! June 2013 is full from Day 1! June 1st in our garage sale to benefit the leaded glass window project, and June 2 is our Historic Rathbun Cruise that was donated by Kris Koestner - that's Kris! - then on June 9 through the 16, we'll celebrate Iowa Museums Week in grand fashion. We'll have open house, free admission days on the kickoff Sunday, June 9, and on the wrap up Sunday on June 16. During the weekdays, we'll host a trolley tour to all of the other small museums in Appanoose County and include a lunch. Then on Saturday, June 15, we'll have a big blowout day at the Post Office museum, where we'll have a genealogy workshop, vintage textile demonstrations, a civil war soldier with his gear and other civil war artifacts, Enfys McMurry reading from her book, a scavenger hunt, and a DVD presentation about Continental Flight 11. And Jacks Popcorn stand will be outside for some free popcorn and lemonade!

We are so grateful to have received the Community Fund Grant to help pay for the restoration of the windows! We had scheduled a garage sale on May 4, but were having SNOW! So we rescheduled for June 1, so come out and buy some goodies to help fund the restoration.

This week we hosted all of the 5th grade classes from Lakeview Elementary and it was nice to see all those shining faces!


4/22/13 - We have started a project to restore some beautiful leaded glass windows that once flanked the doors to a bank in Mystic that closed years ago. The cost of the restoration is $3,400, and the cost to frame them in and backlight them is just as much. We have written a grant to help fund the restoration, as well as holding fundraising events. Here is a photo of these gorgeous windows:

9/6/12 - Well this is embarrassing. It's been over 2 years since I've entered a post in this blog. Just so much has been going on, it's hard to put it all into words. We've completely remodeled the interior of the museum - complete paint job, new heating and cooling systems, all new lighting, and a new mezzanine level has been added to increase our exhibit area. We've held a Grand Reopening, hosted a historic cruise, and have the Haunted History Tour coming up and our Homecoming Open House in October. Busy, busy, busy! I'll try to do better at blogging..... :)

4/20/10 - Just spent all afternoon yesterday folding, sealing, labeling, and sorting our Spring Newsletters, with the help of Gary Craver. They are going out today, and you should be receiving yours within a couple of days! If you don't receive our newsletter, all you have to do is become a member! Or better yet, become a Patron of Our Heritage! Membership and sponsorship help keep us going.

Don't miss the annual meeting on May 3 to be held at the Simon Estes Auditorium at the Centerville High School. Fred Stark will be presenting, "What You Didn't Know About Iowa", a program of Iowa trivia. This should be a really interesting meeting. Notice the date and place. We are having the meeting a week later than we usually do because of a big concert that will be happening on April 26, and many of our membership will be attending that event. We also have moved from the City Hall to high school auditorium because of the increase attendance that we have enjoyed for the past few years. It's free so please come out and enjoy!

2/14/10 - Snow, snow, and more snow! I'm sitting at home watching yet another snowstorm while writing this. The old museum is kind of cold during the winter, so I'm anxious for those days ahead. Even though it's winter, the work continues. Preliminary discussions are underway regarding the upcoming Mercy Medical Center 100 Year Anniversary Exhibit. We are working with folks from the hospital to mark the occasion with an exhibit.

1/4/10 - Happy New Year, everyone! Progress is being made on the website - today I finished the "Explore the Museum' page. Check it out! The Museum will be re-opening after the holiday break on Wednesday, January 6 at 1:00 pm, but I will warn you now, it is chilly in the museum when the temps fall below 10 degrees, like it has been for the past few days.... Keep coming back for more updates and more information!

12/30/09 - Welcome to the newly redesigned website for the Appanoose County Historical Society! My name is Lisa Eddy, and I have been the curator at the Appanoose County Historical & Coal Mining Museum for the past few years, I can't exactly remember how many. It's a volunteer position, but rewarding in so many ways that are not monetary. I've gotten to meet so many current and former residents of Appanoose County, plus many out of town guests that are staying at the new Honey Creek Resort State Park, or that are just passing through town and stop by!

Watch my blog from time to time to see what's going on, donated artifacts that we have received, and projects we are working on. Currently, we have a couple of projects that are underway.

'One such project that we fondly dubbed, 'The Topeka Project' is currently underway. The name reflects the location where our most recent artifact was picked up. It was quite a project, as it is a very large 1833 map of the United States, and we didn't want to roll it up to transport it. Donors Barbara and Wayne Fernkopf of Topeka, Kansas have taken immaculate care of this historic map, and we didn't want to damage it while hauling it back. Outstanding community volunteer and ACHS board member, Gary Cridlebaugh built a large, shallow box, with a cover, that fit snugly into the back of his pickup, and was protected from the elements by his pickup topper. Gary make the trek to Topeka to bring the map back. It has been at the museum for a couple of months now. Currently, we are in the process of preparing that same box to be used for the permanent display of the map. It has been coated with sealer, and will be lined with unbleached muslin, as per instructions from map archivists that we consulted. We have purchased a large sheet of UV plexiglass that will cover the top of the box, loosely, so it may breathe, and then we will be able to mount the map on the wall for permanent display.

Two more exhibits are still in planning stages, although the display units have been purchased already. The Southern Iowa Railway exhibit will consist mostly of photos and ephemera donated to the Historical Soceity by John Huffman, whose uncle Harley Ashby worked for the railway for many years. Harely asked John to compile a history about the railway, because he was afraid it would be gone and completely forgotten. Harley was right. Remnants of the railway are mostly gone, and all that remains are the photos and stories told by those who remember. John compiled two large albums of material and history of the railway, and we are grateful that he has decided to share it with the visitors to the museum, so everyone can enjoy it.

Another exibit that will go into the transportation room will be the Continental Flight 11 exhibit, that we have been gathering information about for a couple of years now. This plane crash was the first act of terrorism on a commercial airliner in United States history, and it happened in the skies over Appanoose County. It crashed just southwest of Cincinnati Iowa, and emergency personnel from Centerville responded to the call when Leo Craver and Jack Morris reported it to the Centerville Police Department. The plane was reconstructed in a building at the Appanoose County Fairgrounds. The movie 'Airport' was loosely based on this plane crash. Watch for this display in the coming months.

Another project that has kept us busy has been sorting through the boxes of photographs that the Iowegian donated to us when they moved to their new location. Most of the photos are from the 70's or later, but what fun to go through! That was during the years I was growing up, so lots of memories come back to me while I'm looking through them!

Well, I always talk too much, and I have again. But come back from time to time just to see what I'm up to!

Take care!

Lisa Eddy


Curator Blog
by Lisa Eddy, Curator