Need new home for museum

To the editor:

Webster County residents can take a walk down that proverbial memory lane at the Webster County Museum in Otho. Today. But possibly not tomorrow.

Time and Iowa weather are taking their toll on the museum’s thousands of historical items, destroying our very heritage. Plastic sheets blanket many of the exhibits, providing temporary protection from the disrespectful elements.

The Webster County Museum was created 19 years ago as a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) organization. All items were contributed by people who strive to preserve the past for present and future generations. Historical artifacts are never bought or sold.

You will discover so much of our area from the last 150 years. Mining is so much of our history and heritage. See how five different minerals have been mined in Webster County. Explore our railroad, farming, retail, medical, educational, entertainment, musical, military, social and spiritual history.

The museum features the largest collection of Boy Scout memorabilia in the state of Iowa. Exhibits include numerous a turn-of-the-century wedding dresses, furniture and kitchen items. Past businesses come alive — Olson Jewelry’s canon ball safe, the Princess Theater organ, Joselyn Press printing press, the Gowrie Star Theater movie projector and countless church histories.

You will experience our early settlers — Italian, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Irish — and their contributions. All towns and communities in Webster County — past and present — are represented.

The museum is poised for for greatness and becoming a major attraction for tourists and also for newcomers to learn more about their new community. A new facility will also ideal for our students, Boy Scouts, 4-H members, service clubs and churches throughout Webster County and beyond.

It would be a terrible shame to lose this marvelous historical collection. But without your help that is exactly what will happen.

The Webster County Museum is searching for a new, accessible, protective home for all of its 11,000 square feet remarkable collection. We want to locate a facility in Fort Dodge with convenient parking and ADA access — with a roof that does not leak. The roof at the current museum, the former Otho Elementary School, leaks, and is destroying the museum’s priceless and irreplaceable historical collection.

Please help us with your suggestions and financial support.

Thank you.

Daryl Beall

Fort Dodge


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