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Welcome to Downing. Small, but proud in July 2021.
The Downing Fire Department once again put on excellent fireworks show on Saturday eve. The weather cooperated nicely. Wouldn’t it be great to harness that feeling the instant when you see a new favorite visual explosion of stars in the sky—the surprise, joy, beauty, amazement, and take-your-breath-away-awe. Some of the launches were that way, for me anyway. And let me not forget to mention the great fish fry dinner they served. Yummm. We also had a good turnout of people visiting the Museum, starting up some good discussions, and seeing things they hadn’t seen before. Thanks for your interest and your donations.
We’d like to thank the Downing Appreciation Days Committee for their $300 donation toward the new signs in Downing. We hope you’ve noticed these signs, but if you haven’t driven through Downing recently it’s worth the drive.
Kevin Martin, who works for Downing, stopped by the Museum for a short visit a week or so ago. He was so helpful with the sign installations. We appreciate his help and wish him well with his classes and certifications on clean water and safe elimination of the City’s sewage. During his visit, Kevin shared a bit about his interest in history—collecting American Indian relics off the ground across northeast Missouri. He contacts a specialist in the field to authenticate his finds. Ah, but most of all, he is passionate about his grandchildren—lucky family.
Don and Carol Scurlock dropped by over the weekend with information about Walter Brown Scurlock for the Veterans Room. Turns out there were two Walter Scurlocks in the service during WWI and WWII. One, Walter B., died in Germany though he has a stone in Glenwood Cemetery, and the other, Walter F., died at home and is buried in Bethel Cemetery. Carol says the Scurlocks were a large family and many of the children didn’t marry. Eleven Scurlocks are buried in Glenwood Cemetery and fifteen in Bethel Cemetery at Glenwood. Rachael, Don & Carol’s great granddaughter researched information for them on the internet that they brought for the Museum to place in the Veterans Room. The text has been placed in a binder, but unfortunately sometimes internet images are too low of resolution to post, so Jim and I plan to visit the cemetery soon for new high-resolution photos. Rachel was very thorough, and we don’t want to discourage young history buffs, but I hope to give Rachel some tips on what internet pictures work for the Museum, and what don’t.
Speaking of young history buffs, one young man visited with Jim about the Japanese rifle we have on display in the Veterans Room. He had learned much on the internet and was able to discuss with Jim about some of the details of guns used in WWII.
The Scurlocks also mentioned family scrapbooks and pictures, which I requested to borrow for scanning items and then return to them probably within a week’s time. This allows both their family and the Depot Museum to have copies and history to share. Carol will be looking into the location of their material and checking with some residents for details about a few other items currently in the Museum. Don was helpful in identifying who may have brought various items to the Museum, then went about dusting and caring for items in the Shed/Annex.
Carol and I later browsed through the photo of members of the 1928 large Coffey Church photo. There are two sets of copies of the picture with a number for each member. On the back of these plates are listed the names for each number and occasionally additional information. Carol’s family, the Simerls, were all there, from her grandparents down to the young children, including her dad, Eldon. She was able to add bits of information to most all the names. Her grandmother, Ola Miller Simerl, was probably related to all the Millers as well. I shared with her some about my great grandfather’s brother, John Green, who was pastor at the church. His wife, Meg Kirkland Green and daughter Velma were also in the picture. We had to stop to watch the fireworks.
The Downing Depot Museum’s open schedule for the rest of this season:
FRI/SAT, July 23–24 (10 a.m.–3 p.m.)
TUESDAY, 10th (10 a.m.–3 p.m.; open for the Missouri Statehood Bicentennial; also visit the Hall Museum, Lancaster, celebrating with an ice cream cone social, and art competition with a Circus theme)
FRI/SAT, 13–14 (10 a.m.–3 p.m.)
THURS, FRI, SAT, 26–27–28 (10 a.m.–5 p.m.; booth at Scotland County Antique Fair, Memphis; Depot building closed; look for us on the west side of the courthouse near the main door)
Do you remember our TENTATIVE PLANS for an afternoon program in the fall? “Saluting Our Veterans & Families,” with sharing of memories, songs, light refreshments, and an open house for our new Veterans Room. We hope to gather many veterans and their families for this special event—firm details will be coming.
SUNDAY, 5th (4–7 p.m., before and after the Appreciation Days church service)
THURS, FRI, SAT, 9–10–11 (10 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–9 p.m., during Downing Appreciation Days)
FRI/SAT, 17–18 Tour Schuyler County History (tours, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.[?]—multiple museums open: Depot Museum, Downing; Hall Museum, Lancaster; Lauer Blacksmith Shop, Queen City; all open; Glenwood–Schuyler Co. Community Center will serve lunch, as well as local restaurants)
FRI/SAT, 8–9 (10 a.m.–3 p.m.)
FRI/SAT, 22–23 (10 a.m.–3 p.m.; closing for the 2021 season—the Smorgasbord will return Sunday, June 5, 2022)
If you’d like to visit the Museum when it’s not open, donate items, or volunteer your time or talent(s), give a call to Jerry or Margaret Scurlock, 660-379-2467; Carol or Don Scurlock, 641-929-3915; or Judy Sharp, 660-342-1454. Then, we’ll see you at the Depot.