Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Models, peanuts & the historical society open house

The plan always is to take many photographs during open houses or other events at the Lucas County Historical Society museum --- and then I fall down on the job because there are so many people to talk to, and that's more fun. Tuesday evening's "Peanut Day" open house was no exception.

But we were exceptionally grateful to Dan and Tammi Christensen for hauling to the museum for display two of the large-scale model buildings that he has commissioned for use in a model railroad setup under development on the family acreage south of Chariton.

The largest and most elaborate of these depicts the Hunter Brothers and Olson Store building that once stood on the south side of Front Street in Lucas. The other is a depiction of May School, once located in Warren Township but now on the grounds of Hunter Tree Farm at Chariton.

Both models were built for Christensen by Garry and Diana Thomas of Garden Grove, although he fabricated the metal windows himself and commissioned others to handle some of the detailing.

I believe Dan said he now has 10 large-scale model buildings, including a church, the Weldon Depot and four constructed many years ago by the late Robert Stech. When all is said and done, these will form part of the backdrop for a large-scale model rail setup --- powered by steam --- on the Christensen acreage. If we're lucky, there may be an open house!

Dan also said that this may have been the last time the store building leaves the family property. Not only is it large and heavy, but also fragile because of the complex detail. So we were very fortunate to have it on display Tuesday.

About the only other photo I took was of this group around the table in the dining room of the Stephens House. The vintage drop-leaf table and cane-bottom chairs came to us during the last year from the estate of Charlene (Trumbo) Meyer, and we're grateful to have them. I'm not exactly comfortable about the water bottle on the table --- but no damage was done.

And since all turned out well in the end, it can be acknowledged now that there was just a little concern this year that "Peanut Day" might be peanut-less. 

The museum has served for many years peanuts fresh-roasted in the 1888 roaster that came to us from Piper's Grocery --- and the Hy-Vee warehouse has been our supplier, keeping a couple of jumbo cartons of raw peanuts on hand for us.

During the last couple of years, the demand for raw peanuts has increased --- and this year "our" peanuts had to be sold to a paying customer elsewhere. The folks at Hy-Vee came through for us, however --- and had cartons delivered on Monday via UPS. So thanks to Hy-Vee and to Bob Ulrich who coordinates the peanut operation on our end and with Jerry Pierschbacher insured that everyone who wanted peanuts got them.

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