Jo-Ann Boepple: Highlights of museum in 2010

Published 9:30 am Friday, January 14, 2011

The tenth year of the “aughts” or ohs is over and time to reflect on the Edwardsburg Museum “Year 2010.”  Here were the top 10 highlights of the year. 

boeppleStarting with No. 1 were the changing events and displays. There were four main displays this year. This is down from the six that have happened in the past. The change was made due to the limited number of people who were available to do the displays and the time constraints in changing the displays often.

The four exhibits were the Vietnam display, “D’Nang to Saigon and Beyond,” “Treasures and Teapots,” “Grandpa’s Garage” and “Winter Wonderland.”

The second major event was the Annual Plant Sale. This was successful once again and provides the major funding for the museum. The project was chaired by Pat Bellaire and Barbara Dempsey who grew, watered and collected plants from all contributors. Plants that did not sell, were planted in the back of the museum and will be dug and potted for the 2011 sale. The work these ladies and others did was a major project for the museum and coincides with Memorial Day activities.

The third major activity for the museum was the tea party. Since this is the “Year of the Tea Parties,” the museum had a real tea party on the back lawn . Tea tables for four were set with the finest of tea sets and tea was served by the appropriately dressed ladies of the museum.

Unfortunately the afternoon was very warm and the hot tea, scones and tea cakes were delicious but inappropriate for a hot summer afternoon. Iced tea might have been a better choice.

The fourth event was the annual U.S.-12 yard sale. This is a fun event for all the workers as people traveling U.S.-12 stop to buy and to visit.  Thanks to the contributions of the community there were plenty of  bargains for shoppers.  The lawn was open for rental space and several people took advantage of the opportunity. This was another funding activity of the museum.

No. 5: Everyone looks forward to the “Witches on Porch” for Halloween. All museum volunteers contribute candy over the month of October, enough to fill a wash tub and the witches delight in passing out the treats to all the goblins that appear. This has been an annual event for the past nine years. The ladies dressed as witches have as much fun as the children who do come for the treats.

No. 6 in the top 10 events were two solemn ceremonies that took place at the Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the museum. On Memorial Day the annual parade stops at the museum so that the community can pay tribute and respect to the veterans from Edwardsburg who have served our country. The second event is the flag retirement ceremony that takes place on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The ceremony of retiring the used and tattered flags were burned at the memorial site to honor the Edwardsburg veterans. These ceremonies were conducted by the American Legion and VFW.  

The veterans memorial is a popular site all summer as visitors stop to view the names of veterans engraved on the bricks. It is a great tribute to Edwardsburg veterans.

The seventh major event comes at the time of the winter holidays. For the third year, John and Sally Dalrymple had set up their collection of miniature houses to share with the community.  Two tables with lighted houses and buildings with streets, trees, people and snow were the centerpiece of various holiday collections. The Dalrymple displays were different each year. A different part of their collection will be on display next year. 

The eighth major event takes some explanation. Almost 10 years ago, the only things on Main Street were the museum, the fire station, the barber shop and the Uptown Tavern. The Museum ladies thought they would bake cookies and have a cookie sale. It was not too successful  There were no shoppers. So the next year the ladies asked the fire department if they would bring Santa to town.

In the past Santa had come to the shopping center but it was discontinued so the ladies collected some money for candy, advertised that Santa would be arriving at the fire station and the line was out the door. But still the cookie sale was not too successful.

Then the whole uptown was changed. The fire department moved out of town and the Uptown Tavern burned. The ladies decided to change their holiday sale to homemade candy and move it to the new fire station with the arrival of Santa.  This has become a big community event.

The ninth in the top 10 list were the contributions to the museum. Three large lighted display cases were given to the museum by Greg Lawson. These cases provided a chance to get some of the small items behind glass and up to eye level. In addition to the display cases was the gift of the cabinet that was a part of the Grand Trunk Railroad station.

The most important item in this top 10 list and number ten were the volunteers. Without them the museum would not be open six days each week. The museum belongs to the community and it is preserving the history of the area. It is meant to be shared and by having the volunteers, it is possible to be open every day but Sunday. Nearly 40 volunteers not only open the museum, greet visitors and provide information but they clean the bathroom, sweep the floor, wash windows and dust the shelves. The volunteers were asked to spend one afternoon a month during the eight months that it is open each year. Without these generous people the Museum could not exist.

As an added No. 11 to the top 10 list, the museum depends on it’s contributors and they need to be thanked for their support. Thank you to all.