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Submitted by Judy Sharp
It’s apparent to most people that Downing’s Depot Museum has been a work of dedication, importance, and permanence in Downing since it began. Much has been done in the Museum over the years—it’s full of historical items, there’s been successful fundraising, and local history has been well shared. There are a multitude of things to interest visitors.
Even with the Museum being closed for nearly two years, many people have positively impacted it. This August was the 200th Anniversary of Missouri’s Statehood. The Board challenged us to complete a new, bigger, and better Veterans Room by the Anniversary date. We succeeded in this large change. The inside east end of the depot was demolished and reconstructed. Sunday, Sept. 5, we had a well-attended Dedication Ceremony for the room. Visitors were pleased that all the uniforms were viewable with the soldier and their period of service identified for each. Some liked the many long group photos, and some were browsing the many binders of paper records or 3-dimensional memorabilia.
Fortunately, the Museum’s board of directors have been very generous in giving me free reign in the projects I have undertaken. I’m grateful for their support and encouragement. You may not be aware of our current board members and officers; they are:
President & Treasurer: Jerry Scurlock
Secretary: Carolyn Schmitter
Members: Steve Blessing, Becky Havens, Darlene Humphrey, Jenny & Vaughn Ruth, Curtis Schmitter, Carol & Don Scurlock, Margaret Scurlock, Judy Sharp, Charlotte & Ellis Speer
A typical realization of museum volunteers everywhere is that museums need volunteers. New insights, additional help, and a new perspective can enliven a group working together. You may think your knowledge of the Downing area is not enough to be useful, but there’s always a way to help. No one knows everything. When you share your knowledge, you’ll come to appreciate how much you do know.
Most of you readers may have lived here your whole life. You may understand historical events, who everyone’s parents are, who they married, and where they live. Please consider chatting with me/us at the Museum about your experiences, memories, and stories of Downing. No matter how small or insignificant you currently believe they are, your stories may become part of the Museum’s records, or they may fill-in existing blanks. We hope you’ll take the time to contact us. We’d like to help you share your memories.
The Community Craft Show booths in downtown Downing during and after the Appreciation Days parade, donated their booth fees to the Depot Museum. Jessica Karsch organized the show hoping to increase interest and participation in Downing Appreciation Days. Jessica offered the fees to the city as they would be using city land, but the city forwarded her offer to the Museum. The seven booth participants seemed to like the show. Jessica is helping encourage community participation in events in Lancaster and Memphis, as well. Thanks to everyone involved for the donations.
With my volunteer work at the Depot Museum, I’m reminded to donate some of my family’s memorable items. So I just located the scrapbook of greeting cards my grandparents’ (Ellet and Maude Barb Green) received for their 50th Anniversary (Flag Day, June 14, 1963). I enjoyed making a list of people’s names—details that remind me of our/their relatives, friends, and neighbors in, or from, Downing. There were over 100 cards.
The celebration was in their home about a week after the date. My sister Lois, a teacher in California, honored our grandparents by getting married on June 14th, just after school was out. She and Bill then drove to Downing, as did my parents and I, arriving in time to celebrate their big event. When my uncle, Charles B. Green and Venita Jean Lancaster Childress married in 1970 they also chose flag day. Kind of a family tradition.
A useful idea for collectors: If the card’s sender(s) only sign their first name(s) then their last name and relationship to the couple was added inside the card’s back page.
For an individual appointment to view the new Veterans Room, other collections, or to donate items and information to the Depot Museum, call:
•Jerry or Margaret Scurlock, 660-379-2467,
•Carol or Don Scurlock, 641-929-3915, or
•Judy Sharp, 660-342-1454.
We’ll see you at the Depot.