Antiques abound at Aurelia Heritage center

Friday, July 24, 2020
Before the days of Barbie dolls, they had dolls that looked similar to this. This particular doll was given to the Heritage Center by Grace Mummert, and depicts the departed Queen Elizabeth I.

If you’re looking to see a large collection of historical antiques, from a musket dating back to the Civil War, to a wedding dress from 1899, the Aurelia Heritage Center has what your looking for.

The building we see now went through a number of different changes. In 1937, the building was bought by Arthur Larson from William Honsbruch and was used as a garage and filling station. Larson then took on the dealership for DeSoto and Plymouth, altering the building to make a large display room.

During World War II, there were no cars for sale, so the front of the building became a barber shop first used by Bob Richardson, and then by Harvey Batten when he bought the place. In the back of the building, Earl Nielson and Bart Neel sold L.P. Gas and repaired gas and electric appliances and refrigerators.

On loan from Gilbert Grienke, the third weapon in the photo was an old musket used by one of his family members back in the Civil War.

The building later went to Matzdorff T.V. During that time, Larson built an addition in the back of the building. For some time Vernon Rath had his honey processing business in the addition. After that, Royce Steffens then used the present Heritage Building for a plumbing shop for 20 years. After that, the building went to the Heritage Committee, that still use the building to this day.

“You don’t know where your going unless you know where you’ve been.” This was a quote said by Bonnie Lewis, one of the co-presidents for the Heritage Center. It truly has a wide variety of antiques to see. They also love seeing younger people come in and become curious about history. The questions that they come up with are all wonderful, said Lewis.

One of their newest antiques was a track switch for a trolley rescued by a Mark Sangwin and Roman Redig from an old locker building before it was torn down. It went on the ceiling at the locker to move the animal carcasses around.

This hunk of metal is called a track switch. Being one of the newest antiques they received, it was used in a locker building to move animal carcasses from one spot to another.

Another antique they had on loan was an old musket from Gilbert Grienke. According to the man who loaned it to the Heritage Center, the musket was used during the Civil War by family member back in the 1860s.

Currently on display, they also had a quilt brought in originally owned by Alexander Fraser and his wife and made back in 1837, antique glass wear donated from the Emalyn Hankens Estate, and a pair of desks that, according to one of their oldest members, Norma Fox,” would have been used back when I was in 1st grade and in grade school.”

The Heritage Committee gets all their antiques from people donating the items to them or from people loaning them. They encourage people to stop on in and take in the history. If you would like to take a tour, ask or call ahead of time. Their number is 712-434-2091.

The Heritage Center would also like to thank the Legacy Grant for giving them new lights and signs in front of their building.