by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
When I am struggling for a topic, which is often, I go to the Historical Society newspaper files. This week I turned to the 25-year old articles and I opened the file to an article entitled “Age before Beauty.” The headline was in reference to choosing an old building with historical significance over a beautiful new building. The building which currently houses our museum at 506 Main was purchased 25 years ago. So, over the next few weeks I’ll be writing about our “home".
Twenty-five years ago, Paul Morganroth was president of the Grain Valley Historical Society. About three years prior, the East Broadway Development Company had given the society a lot on Broadway Street, east of Buckner Tarsney. The land included an old Sni-A-Bar silo and some members had hope to include the silo as a part of the museum. The land was valued at $10,000.
Fast forward to 1998. The same development company that had given the site on Broadway offered to take back the land and deduct $10,000 from the $70,000 purchase price of the Main Street building. John Washburn was the building chairman. Over the previous three years, the society had raised just over $16,000 for construction of a new building.
Washburn immediately raised the fundraising goal from $30,000 to $60,000 in order to pay off the building and do the necessary renovations needed to make the building usable as a museum and meeting space. Over the next few weeks, I will be telling you the history of our building since its’ inception in the early 1900s.
Before the building became the Historical Society it was Campbell’s Sho-Me Gun Shop, circa 1998. Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society
Paul Morganroth, Harvey Kolster and Norma Goodman check out the original tin ceiling concealed by drop tiles. Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society.