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The buildings pictured above are the Trefz Buildings and will be the new home for the Eudora Community Museum.

 

Ten years ago the closest thing to a museum in Eudora was Glenn Wineinger’s basement. Wineinger is the current President of the Eudora Area Historical Society (EAHS) and has been active with the group since the 1980s. Wineinger’s basement housed hundreds of artifacts and documents relating to Eudora’s colorful history. The artifacts and documents belonged to the EAHS, but there simply was no public place to house and display them. It was not until 2004, when the EAHS opened its first museum in the former Eudora High School building at 10th and Main Streets, that the artifacts and archives became available for public viewing.

 

Since 2004, the EAHS and the museum it operates, the Eudora Community Museum, have steadily grown. New exhibitions have debuted, thousands of new archives and artifacts (including the original Deed to Eudora) have been added to the collections, and professional staff and interns have contributed to the operations. In 2011 the EAHS moved the Eudora Community Museum into a temporary home at the former Nottingham Elementary building on Church Street. In the last two years at Nottingham, the EAHS has welcomed thousands of visitors, including many school groups, and have implemented professional museum standards to the collections. The EAHS has been behind projects to bring bronze signage to historic buildings on Main Street and to help nominate more properties in Eudora to the State and National Register of Historic Places. The EAHS is always looking for new ways to serve the Eudora community.

 

Despite the success in the current facility at Nottingham Elementary, the EAHS strongly believes the Eudora Community Museum needs a permanent home to display its exhibits and house the archives and artifacts. Thanks to a generous donation from Pam Staab (Trefz), the EAHS is now working towards having a permanent home on Main Street. In March of 2013, Staab donated the properties at 720/722 Main Street (commonly called the “Trefz Buildings”) to the EAHS. The Trefz Buildings can trace their origins to 1883 and are some of the oldest structures in Eudora. For most of their existence, the Trefz Buildings housed Plumbing operations. The buildings have sat vacant for decades. The Eudora Community Museum will make the historic property once again useful.

 

In the last two years, the EAHS has secured architectural plans for the redevelopment of the Trefz Buildings into the Eudora Community Museum. Former Eudora City Commissioner Bill Whitten has graciously volunteered his services as Construction Manager of the Project. The majority of the construction for the project will be volunteer labor. The EAHS has also started to raise funds for the project. Through grants and private donations, the EAHS has managed to raise close to $77,000 thus for towards the project. However, we are still in need of additional funds to make the project a reality.

 

The EAHS belongs on Main Street. The EAHS would like to not only preserve the historic character of Main Street, but also contribute to the revitalization of Main Street. A museum on Main Street would increase foot traffic for downtown Eudora and lead to economic development for Eudora. The EAHS is poised for a bright future. Only ten years after having no museum, Eudora is destined to have an outstanding museum, thanks to the community’s dedicated efforts to preserve its History.

 

If you would like to donate funds or volunteer labor towards this project, please contact Ben Terwilliger. Call 785-690-7900, or email at EudoraHistory@gmail.com.

 

Donations can also be mailed to the EAHS at:
Eudora Area Historical Society
PO Box 158

Eudora, KS 66025

 

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