Museum readies 'In the Beginning'

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The 2006 Buena Vista County Historical Society museum display opens Sunday, April 30th, at the museum at 214 West 5th Street in Storm Lake. The public is invited to an open house to launch the season, with a program at 2 p.m.

This year's exhibit theme, "In The Beginning", highlights items of those living in the early days of Buena Vista County. An added attraction will be the Walter Becker minatures which are powered by electricity or compressed air.

Guest speakers will be Tom Olsen, Ag Business Field Specialist with the ISU Extension and Marilyn Monson, Managing Director of the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce, who is active in the preservation and presentation of the Allee Mansion near Newell. This dynamic duo will present an informative session on early farm life and on the Allee Farm.

Musical entertainment for the afternoon will feature the X-Chicks, a local vocal group specializing in period harmonies. Refreshments will be served.

Chairman Janice Danielson and her crew have again put together a very interesting display which includes an early Estate wood burning stove, enamel ware, enamel top kitchen tables, a one-bottom plow, children's toys, adorable bonnets, and old style fashions among many other items. Buena Vista County Century farms will be recognized.

The Buena Vista County town displays have also been updated to incorporate this year's theme. They feature many unique and fascinating items compiled by the representatives of each community: Shirley Stethem, Truesdale-Marathon; Janet Haraldson, Rembrandt; Avis Yungbluth, Sioux Rapids; Marian McNabb, Linn Grove; Ron and Marjorie Neulieb, Alta; Marilyn Bolte, Albert City; and Marilyn Monson, Newell.

The Walter Becker Miniatures will be a highlight of the front display area this year. Wayne Robb, Storm Lake, put his talents to work in the construction of a display case for the miniatures with design consultants Ron Neulieb and Mel Grundmeier.

Many of the machines are activated by electricity or compressed air. The wiring was done by Neulieb. Becker built the machines in his basement workshop, without patterns, and are marvels of his talent. Visitors can see steam engines and cranes, a drill press, band saw and other metal machines in operation.Wooden trucks and horse-powered header and barge used in grain harvesting are included.

The Elk Township Country Schoolhouse and the Dahl log house are in their new home and will be open for public viewing between Memorial Day and Labor Day and by appointment. Landscaping work is still being completed. A new lawn mower has been purchased by the Society for help in maintaining the Museum property.

School days will again be held in May with students from Concordia Lutheran, Alta and Aurelia 3rd graders already signed up for a day of old time classroom activities at the schoolhouse museum.

Recent acquisitions by the Society include a six-shot pump action repeater gun from the Wendell Edson Estate; hats from the Lydia Dallman Estate; Mary Geisinger's Girl Scout uniform; Sulphur Springs' "Live Wires" items from the early 1950's; memorabilia from Ruth Galey; a patriotic eagle throw given by Jeanette Worthan; and a 1937 Buena Vista College BVC yearbook from Francis Walling. Don Elk also made a donation of a Westinghouse refrigerator for the new exhibit's "kitchen".

A Panasonic Camcorder has been purchased by the society with funds received from the City. The camcorder will be used to record memories of area citizens. Anyone with local roots and an interesting story to share, may call the Museum at 712-732-4955.