THE MEAL HAD BEGUN! With a wide variety of meats, vegetables, salads, and desserts, no one went away hungry from the 2018 Downing Depot Museum Smorgasbord.

The 2018 Smorgasbord benefiting the Downing Depot Museum was a great success. Every year this annual fundraiser has been successful since the first one in March of 1976.

The Smorgasbord, held annually on the 1st Sunday in June, is put on solely by volunteers. We’re grateful for, and the fundraiser relies on, great cooks who prepare the food and others who serve the meal; the group who organize and clean the building before and after the meal; and those who canvassed nearby areas seeking door prizes and monetary support for the Museum. This year we had over 100 donors who contributed food, direct cash contributions, and more than 80 door prizes to make this Smorgasbord such a successful event. Special thanks to the year-round Depot Museum volunteers, primarily the three Scurlock families and the Vaughn Ruth family. This year we also thank Pastor Larry Smith, Bonnie Hayes, Charlotte Spear, Darlene Humphrey, and Jim Sharp.

What’s more, we’re grateful to the many people who call the Downing (area) home, and who attended and gave generous donations for this year’s feast. Visiting and eating were the main attractions, while people enjoyed the military display highlighting local servicemen Jackson, Kratzer, and Green. Additional thanks to Abby Blessing for use of her computerized report on Charles B. Green’s WWII experience in Europe. We’re coming into the digital age!

In the past, a ten- or twenty-mile trip was an all-day affair. Transportation advances have allowed longer distances to become “local.” Local has become relative and our neighborhood and community have expanded quite a distance.

So, we thank the following local donors for their support of the Downing Depot Museum—our history and our future. We hope that you will choose to shop locally to support these businesses. Downing: Anderson Const; Bank of Downing; Blessing Const; Vernon Tracey Carroll; Cheese Post; Cherry Grove Antiques; Feeds & Needs; Finish Line Auto; Garrett–Ruth Ent; Hammer Mill Bar & Grill; High Auctions; Holton Const/Rainbow Storage; LakeWood RV Sales & Rents; Chantal Miller; Randy Sayre (Rat Attack); Ruth Family Farms (Doug&Dee); She & I Designs; Carolyn Stanley; US Post Office. Lancaster: American Family Ins; Dr Foster (Animal Health Center); Dotson 202 Tire; Exchange Bank; Lancaster Flowers; Lancaster Lumber; Lilac Hill Greenhouse; Kelly L Lovekamp; MFA Agri Svcs, Lancaster/Kirksville; Norman Funeral Home; Pioneer Gardens Greenhouse; Schuyler Co Nutri Site; Christy&Mark Smyser; Tallman Auto Parts; Tangles Salon; Twila’s Treasures Memphis: Acorn Hill Vet Clinic; Aunt Denise’s Baked Goods; John&Carole Aylward; Bradley Ins; Comm Bank of Memphis; Cook’s Men’s Store; Country View Store; Countryside Flowers; Daisey Patch Flowers; Desktop Svcs; Eggleston Bkkping & Tax Svcs; Farm & Home; Farm Bureau Ins; Gas & More BP; Gerth & Baskett; M&O Concrete; Green Acres Sew & Vac; Hair Co; Hawkins Harrison Ins; Hinds Realty; Hollow Hill; Hometown Animal Health; Hopkins Lumber Co; House of Blue/Fullers; J&J Ag; J’s Foods; Keith’s Café; Lacy’s Restaurant; Lan-Dow Bldgs; Laura The Tax Lady; Martin’s Auto Svc; Mayberry Farms; Memphis Auto Parts; Memphis Mercantile; MFA Fertilizer; MFA Oil, Memphis; Off Road Tire & Service Ctr; Pepsi-Cola Memphis Bottling Co; Prairieland FS; Primrose Realty; Rose “Do It Best” Hdwre; RPM Truck Accessories; Scotland Co Pharm; Scotland Co Senior Nutri Ctr; Scotland Co Vet Clinic; Shelter Ins; Walker Motors Collision Repair; Witmers Furniture. Surrounding Areas: Glenwood: Keith&Nancy Kerby; Cindy Steen. Greentop: Humphrey Family Farms; Western’s Smokehouse; Wildflower Quilting. Kahoka: McAfee & Hayes Auctions. Queen City: Mast Meats; WD63 Pipe & Steel. Rutledge: Milkweed Mercantile. Bloomfield, IA: Donald&Carol Scurlock; Sinclair John Deere; Slayton Polaris. Drakesville, IA: Drakesville Crop Svcs. Houghton, IA: B&B Propane Gas; Jet Gas. Hamilton, IL: Lester&Candy Harnetiaux.

Recently we began a facelift in both Museum buildings because we’re short of display room for new items. So far we’ve rearranged furniture; have added shelf space; and have begun sorting, filing, cleaning, and identifying documents for binding or filing. We plan to set up new displays and make room for more Downing area history as it arrives.

Thanks to everyone who is helping, and others who will in the future. It’s been some time now since Inez Shaw and Evafae Jefferies got the Museum started, with more recent help from Barbara Ross and Mary Ann Blessing. Early caretakers did a great job, but we’re now in need of renovation.

Please stop by the Museum, located at Downing Appreciation Days Park, and see our progress, take a few minutes to locate some of your ancestors, and reminisce on “the good ol’ days.” Remember the Museum is open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Fridays, June through September 2018, from noon to 4 pm, but we’ll be working there at other unscheduled times, too. If you’re interested in volunteering to help with our renovation, please contact Jerry (660-379-2467), Carol (641-929-3915), or Judy (660-342-1454).

submitted by Judy Sharp