Monday, May 17, 2010

LCHS Mid-May Update

The iris are in full bloom on a sunny mid-May morning on the south lawn of the Stephens House.
Here at midmonth is a roundup of what’s been going on and what will be happening at the Lucas County Historical Society museum in Chariton. When the sun comes out, we'll add a few photographs. Please note that a version of this update was e-mailed earlier to those on our mailing list. If you would like to be on that list, just let us know at

Looking ahead to opening:
The museum will open for the season officially on Saturday, May 29, and will be open thereafter every Tuesday through Saturday until late September. Hours will be 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Tours, which begin in the John L. Lewis Building (just west of the Stephens House), are free.

Tours of the museum campus can be arranged at other times, providing guides are available. Feel free to contact us at or at (641) 774-4464 to make arrangements.

If this will be a first-time visit remember that the campus includes six buildings and a seventh is under construction so allow plenty of time. The most convenient parking places are located next to the Lewis Building. Just drive into the north entrance of the circle drive (north of the Stephens House) and come on in.

Quite a few new artifacts related to Lucas County history will be on display and we’re working on a temporary exhibit in the commons area of the Lewis Building honoring Lucas Countyans who have died while in military service to their country.

We’re looking forward to seeing you this summer!

Clean-up Day
City-wide cleanup day is a rite of spring in Chariton --- and a tradition that benefits the historical society. This year on a sunny Wednesday, May 5, five young women who are seniors at Chariton High School --- Rachel Dachenbach, Katie Schultz, Kaylee Spoon, Karen Pesina and Tessa White --- along with their supervisor, Ruth Smith, spent a full morning cleaning up our grounds and hauling debris to the dump. They were assisted by several of our board members and curator-emeritus Betty Cross. Much of the planting that needs to be done here in the spring was taken care of, shrubs and trees were trimmed. All in all, it was a very productive morning. A more complete report is available in an earlier post to this site.
Fourth-graders will visit
The annual visit by Chariton Community School fourth-graders will take place on Thursday, May 27 (rain date Friday, May 28). This is a logistical challenge, but lots of fun, for everyone concerned. Students arrive by the busful and are divided into smaller groups to visit each building on the campus, each staffed by volunteers. The longest period of time is spent, naturally, at Puckerbrush School. The students then enjoy a sack lunch on the lawn. Thanks in advance to all the volunteers who make this event possible!

May board meeting
The May meeting of the Lucas County Historical Society Board of Directors was held Tuesday morning, May 11, in the commons area of the Lewis Building. Here are a few items of interest from that meeting:

Blacksmith Shop: As many of you may know a seventh building is under construction on the museum campus --- a blacksmith shop that also will contain a much-needed storeroom. Board member Bill Marner reported that it remains likely that building will be completed so that a grand opening can be held during September, although a tough winter, a wet spring and the end of the school year (CHS Building Trades Program students are the primary source of labor and building talent) are complicating the construction process.

Windmill: The vintage windmill on the museum campus came down in a storm some time ago and has been recuperating (and receiving treatment) at board member Ron Christensen’s metal-working shop. Ron is optimistic that the windmill will make its return to the campus fairly soon to resume its job as a permanent display.

Otterbein Church: Board member Bill Marner reported problems with the sill under the façade of Otterbein Church that is causing the floor inside the south entrance door to sag when stepped on. It will be necessary to repair the sill and put that portion of the floor back on a firm foundation. Board member Cliff Brewer will lead a board committee of Jim Secor, Bill Marner, Bob Ulrich and Rod Peterson to get the job done --- the advantage to having board members who not only understand old buildings but also are entirely capable of fixing problems themselves.

Service Contract: The board approved a season-long service contract with Judy Besco, museum associate, who will open and close the museum this summer, serve as principal guide and coordinate the work of volunteers who assist her. Most of these volunteers, many old friends of the museum, work here through the volunteer service program coordinated by Lucas County Health Center. Others, especially on Saturday, are LCHS board members, officers and volunteer staffers.

Committees: Hard-working committees made up primarily of LCHS board members are the keys to success at the museum. Here are the committees in place to serve during 2010-1011:

Building and Grounds: Cliff Brewer, Ron Christensen, Bill Marner, Rodney Peterson, Jerry Pierschbacher, Jim Secor, Bob Ulrich and Warren Wallace.

Finance: Bill Marner, Gene Egeland and Frank Mitchell.

Marketing/Events: Lucinda Burckhalter, Ilene Church, Fred Steinbach, Frank Mitchell and Frank Myers.

Curating: Marilyn Johnson, Bob Curtis and Judy Besco.

Resource: Jack Young, Martha Milnes, Betty Cross and Warren Wallace.

Keep June 18 Open
The Historical Society will sponsor an evening arts and crafts fair on the museum campus from 6 until 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 18. Contemporary arts ranging from watercolor to fabric art and photography will mix with traditional crafts for an entertaining evening. Some participants will offer works for sale. Free hotdogs, chips and lemonade will be served. The peanut roaster will be in operation and we’re hoping for live music. Hope to see you then!

Memberships are still being accepted
If you haven’t paid membership dues and would like to do so, just make a check out to Lucas County Historical Society and mail it to the society at P.O. Box 807, Chariton, IA 50049

Need to contact us?
As a rule the Lucas County Historical Society office is staffed from 1 until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Telephone us at (641) 774-4464 or e-mail us at Marilyn and/or Frank usually work at the museum most weekday mornings beginning at about 8:30 a.m. and continuing until at least midi-morning. If you call and no one’s home, leave a message on the answering machine and we’ll get back to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment