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Museum closer to restoration—come visit during Chamber Christmas open house PDF Print E-mail


By Jan Rahn

Managing Editor

With some fresh paint and fix up, the Perkins County Historical Society has the museum at the corner of 6th and Central looking pretty spiffy.

Compared to what it looked like a year ago, the historic structure with wrap-around porch and gorgeous stained glass windows is an eye-catching attraction again as motorists cruise by.

Although the outside looks well kept and tended to, the inside is going to require much more attention before the public can view the complete restoration.

The museum will be open in its current state during the Perkins County Chamber Christmas open house so that the public can see what has taken shape thus far to accomplish the restoration goal.

The reason the museum is in the present condition which requires so much work is because of water damage done to the structure in late 2006.

The building had to be lifted off its foundation and then sat on truck beams until it could be placed atop a new basement in June 2007.

So for over three years and counting, sweat equity by historical society president Brenda Styskal, clubs, organizations and individuals have gotten the museum to where it is today.

The porch has been repaired, stairs replaced, and a new sidewalk laid. The exterior has been painted, interior wallpaper stripped and plaster repaired. Once painting and plaster is complete, both floors will again have period-appropriate wallpaper.

The Perkins County Commissioners have been the largest benefactors, according to Styskal, who said, “Without their funding assistance, the museum would still be on the moving beams. So our organization owes them a big thank you.”

Electrical work, hot water heater, air conditioner and furnace replacement have enhanced the structure.

Helpers Unite

The Grant Rotary Club, Rotory District 5630 Simplified Grant, Perkins County Foundation and Rick and Kathy Salsman funded the heating, air conditioning and hot water systems, said Styskal with installation completed this summer by Darren Jensen of Affordable Heating and Air.

The plumbing work, including another leak in an old water line has been completed by Harlan Rahn of The Plumbing Guys, and Styskal said the new sidewalk was completed by Dave Dailey and Cody Anderson thanks to the generous donation from Marvin Stumpf in memory of his wife, Pearl Stumpf.

Leon Regier and his staff removed the crumbling retaining wall that was located south of the house, along with many yards of dirt.

Michael Wendell and Spencer Hansen of Ken’s Electric rewired. The repairs to the old wraparound porch were funded by Kevin and Barb Hatch of Hatch’s Super Foods, and Ted and Renae Deaver of D&D Construction donated their time to rebuild two sets of stairs along with other repairs.

Grant Rotary members have scraped wallpaper, painted and cleaned, with most of the materials funded by Doralyn Salsman, Heritage Insurance Agency, and Robert and Donna Brodbeck.

Grant Lions members provided funds for cement, and Sandy Glenn primed the dining room. Grady Robinson helped fund replacement of broken screens, windows, screen doors and plaster. Dave Keller of Keller Roofing repaired the roof on the screened in porch and resealed around the chimneys. Kelly Kirkpatrick donated his time and expertise to repair and stabilize the central chimney of the house.

Staff of Country Supply and Adams Lumber have generously shared their time and expertise with advice and guidance. Jim Toner of Master Flooring provided materials for the revitalization of the original wood floors.

Volunteers have included DeeAnn Tatum, Bob Tatum, Darren Jensen, Shannon Jensen, Lacey Jensen, Vicki from Finland, Ronda Lawyer, Sandi Steinwart, Mary Bieber, CJ Rezac, Larry Umberger, Denise Umburger, Ben Ross, Connie Skeels and Norman Hansen. Styskal said the interior painting is still underway and once it’s done, the wallpaper in five rooms will be hung. Woodwork, floors and windows will be cleaned and polished, and finally the new and/or salvaged curtains will be hung.

Contouring of the grounds, repair of underground sprinklers by Ted Teitjen and plans for landscaping headed by Robin Cornelius will give way to a new look on the corner come spring.

Open House is Nov. 18

Although there is work to be done and the museum’s displays won’t be reset until late spring, the museum will invite the public in on the evening of the downtown Christmas Open House on Nov. 18 from 5-8 p.m.

“We hope the public will stop by and visit that evening and enjoy the efforts that so many of our area residents and businesses have helped with,” said Styskal.

“This has been a huge task and it is fortunate that we have had so many individuals to call on to assist in its completion. The area merchants and service providers have blessed us with discounts, contributions and advice and that reminds us of why we live in a community like Perkins County.

“The words of encouragement that we have received helped to spur us on to finish the task when we were bone weary and didn’t want to ever see another paint brush.

“We still have several standing offers of “five gallons of gas and a match” to help us out of the project but we are relieved that it hasn’t been needed. I believe people are happy that the grand old lady is coming back to life and look forward to many guests coming to visit our museum in the future.

“On behalf of the Historical Society’s Board of Directors, we cannot begin to say how appreciative we are to all of the people who have helped to make this accomplishment possible.”