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The staff at O’Fallon Historical Museum would like to thank everyone who contributed to our “Lights of Home” Exhibit! We appreciate all the community members that submitted their pandemic stories and hand-crafted stars to create a unique display to commemorate all the ups and downs of 2020. The winner of the drawing for our basket of gift shop goodies was Makayla King, who created a beautifully hand-sewn fleece star. The display has now been taken down and archived to make room for a repeat of our Great Depression “Escape Room.” This activity contains interesting facts about the Great Depression, stock market, Dust Bowl, the Roaring Twenties, and FDR. Patrons can break codes including ciphers, Morse code, and cryptograms to unlock a prize at the end.

We are happy to report we now have heat in our metal building! This will make it easier to carry out our programming in the winter months and will make even more of our exhibits accessible year round. Our metal building has vintage cars and tractors as well as a reproduction tar paper shack in addition to our temporary display area and many more items. We also still have school exhibits on display in the metal building that students have created throughout the school year, so feel free to stop by to take a look before those exhibits come down for the summer.

Carl Hepperle recently met at the museum with Mrs. Rost’s students from BHS. The students are putting together a fictional crime case based on local history – in this case, the fire at the original Baker High School. Carl was the new guy on the fire department in 1967 when the school burned down and was able to give the students valuable information about the layout of the classrooms and gymnasium. He told them what he remembered from that day and even a few stories about attending school in that building. One student stated, “I really enjoyed listening to the personal stories and a firsthand account of the fire. I hope more people get to hear stories like this from people like Carl in the future.”

The Museum is actively making plans for the upcoming summer season. One thing in the works is a collaboration with Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation we are calling “Heritage Fest.” The event will be held Saturday June 12th and will include old fashioned games, demonstrations, speakers, live music, vendors, and heritage crafts. Stay tuned for more information and a schedule of events.

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