boeppleTen years ago, the Edwardsburg Museum established a memorial program to honor those friends of the museum who have passed on. This has taken the form of monetary donations as well as items contributed to the museum collection.

Archived Story

Jo-Ann Boepple

Published 2:17pm Friday, September 24, 2010

Twenty-five memorials have been established. To honor those who have passed on, a Memorial plaque contains their names and a scrap book highlighting their lives has been organized.

When the memorial program  was first started a plaque with space for 24 names was purchased and in the last ten years the plaque has been filled. Recently a new plaque was purchased to place additional names.

Rose bushes and other plants for the gardens as well as a small tree have been contributed in the name of friends. But what has happened to the money that has been given?

The museum is totally supported by donations. It was built with contributions of time and materials and is operated with a group of over forty volunteers. A not-for-profit corporation, it has no paid personnel, no grants or governmental support. It conducts fund raising events that keep it operating  but there is no extra money for equipment.

The money received from memorials is used to purchase the extra things that help in the operation the museum. The sign in front of the museum was one of the first memorial purchases. When the Otis Montgomery memorial was established and there were no more of his books available, “Edwardsburg, The First One Hundred and Fifty Years,” some of the money was used to reprint the book which is for sale in the museum. A security alarm system was installed. A TV set, video camera and VCR was purchased to record oral histories that are conducted each fall. These interviews have been added to the museum collections. Mannequins that provide for the display of vintage clothing were purchased and recently a canopy was installed to cover a portion of the back deck to provide coverage for outdoor events.

If it were not for these contributions in the name of loved ones, these additions would not have been possible. Memorials have been established for Eleanor Follmer, Ethel Claire, Robert Lindley, Bernita Mohney,Cassie Grossnickle, Reid Lindley,Rosanna Blackburn, Carl Ostrander, Jonathan Gearhart, Otis Montgomery, James Dempsey, Thelma Bittenbender, Charles Mohney, Berdean Lane, Josephine Mock, Ada Barr, Dale Padbury, Dr. Thomas Brown, Russell Colburn, Therese Monaghan, Richard Beckwith, John Molnar, Elizabeth Molnar Hofer, Doris Wesley and Vera Slechtova. These were all friends of the museum or residents of the Edwardsburg area. Many of these names continue to be immortalized by the continuous contributions to the Museum Memorial Fund in their name.

It is possible to request that money be set aside for a particular purchase. That is the case with the donations for James Dempsey. It was requested that the money be placed in a fund to build a barn at the back of the museum property. There is a separate barn fund at this time.

The museum continues to provide a historical background for the area and is pleased to honor these former residents, celebrate their lives and provide a lasting memorial in their honor.

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