Historical society reflects on past year, makes plans for future

A lot is happening at Perkins County Historical Society these days, and now there is a new board to help set the direction for the 61-year-old organization.

Seven Perkins County residents were voted in as board members for the society at its annual meeting on Monday, Oct. 9. 

Retaining the position of president was long-time member Brenda Styskal. Other elected members included Robin Quinn as vice president, Angela Gloy as treasurer and Patsy Kroeker as secretary. Other board members elected were Lisa Jones, Monica Poppe and Connie Skeels.

During the meeting Styskal gave her report, updating the 20 people present about the society’s past year.

The society’s collection of antiques and historical items have increased since last year with some nice donations from the public, Styskal said. Some of these items include the old phone booth that sat near the newspaper office in Grant, a pencil and pen collection, desks and school supplies, additional appliances, furniture and household items.

According to Styskal, many of the new items have been displayed, but some have not because of limited space due to renovations to the museum’s grounds.

The biggest renovation project, which is just finishing up, was shoring up the exhibit hall on the east part of the property. 

The roof on the hall was deteriorating, which caused water to leak in and damage some of the exhibits in the hall, Styskal said.

Fixing the roof on the exhibit hall required that all of the items in the hall be removed and relocated to the Perkins County Fairgrounds. Many volunteers helped with this project, Styskal said. Once the items were moved out, the roof, insulation, several struts and gutters had to be replaced. The hall is now waterproof, Styskal said.

With the hall fixed, the new board will now undergo the process of reorganizing the hall, with the plan to organize items into different themed sections inside the building. 

Those at the meeting were allowed to vote on which themes they felt should be a part of the exhibit hall. Examples of different themes voted on included booths about each Perkins County town, the development of the railroad, electricity, schools, churches, health fields, telephone services and many others. Those with ideas for a theme at the building should talk to one of the board members.

Other work that has been completed on the society’s grounds include replacing the decking around the house as well as the steps, fixing of the wrap-around porch, lots of painting and work to the roof on the house.

Styskal reported that the society has had a lot of people come and view the exhibits. Several fourth graders visited the school house, with one of the classes even holding class in the building for a whole day.

The next scheduled event at the museum will be its Christmas open house during the weekend of Nov. 16. 

Styskal said the event draws many people, with more than 150 usually visiting during that evening.

Styskal welcomes all Perkins County residents to come and view the museum and to get involved. Volunteers are always needed to host open houses and days when the museum is open, do cleaning and renovating, help get the exhibit hall set up, yard duties and many other things, she said.

The museum is open each Sunday from 1-4 p.m. May through December.   

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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