Eudora Historical Society Intern Ben Terwilliger andPresident Glenn Wineinger work on old photos

Eudora News and

Most people are not familiar with the history of Eudora and the surrounding area.  Only a select few could tell you why Eudora is named Eudora or much about the early days of the town in the mid 1800’s.  There is one individual in particular that can tell you almost anything about the history of Eudora.  The amazing part is that individual doesn’t live in Eudora and he is under the age of 25.

Ben Terwilliger, a graduate student at Kansas University in the Museum Studies Graduate Program, works  as an intern for the Eudora Area Historical Society.  He spends at least three days a week at the Eudora Community Museum’s new location at the former Nottingham Elementary School doing a variety of monumental tasks.  Terwilliger, alongside a new second  intern, Christine Inman,  has spent the better part of  2011 going through material donated to the Historical Society for the museum and making a complete catalog of all the items and documents  in it’s collection.  Terwilliger has also been instrumental of late in writing grant applications for the Historical Society and trying to work on donations both monetary and items.

“My to do list is like 40 deep, so I’ve got a lot to keep busy with,”  Terwilliger said. “There is so much to be done yet with grant application writing.  We’ve been working with several Douglas County, state and federal organizations trying to get some financial support for the museum.”

Terwilliger was instrumental in the move of the Eudora Community Museum from it’s previous location at the old Eudora Middle School at 10th and Main Street  to it’s new temporary location at Nottingham.

“We’ve got a lot of  shelving and room here to work with at this facility,” Terwilliger stated.  “The conditions at the Middle School were just not suitable for storing documents and items.  We are so grateful to the School District for allowing us to temporarily occupy the space here.”

The only issue with using the Nottingham School is that it is temporary.  The School District does plan on eventually selling the property that Nottingham and Laws Field currently sit on and so a permanent location  is needed.

Stepping up to assist the Historical Society with that permanent location is Pam Staab.  Staab is the owner of the buildings at 720 and 722 Main Street. These buildings housed Trefz Plumbing and Heating for many years.  Staab is willing to donate the buildings to the city for use as the new home of the Historical Society, if the Historical Society can come up with the needed money to remodel the interior of the buildings.  While the outside facade was completed a few years ago, a lack of funds have prevented Staab from completing the interior restoration work.  Staab wants to see something done with the buildings and decided this would be a perfect opportunity to preserve the buildings and help the Historical Society.

“The Trefz family has been in Eudora for several generations and we really want to support the history of Eudora,”  Staab said.

To complete the interior renovations and make the building habitable, the cost would be in the area of $180,000.

“If we can get grant money, we can really give the Historical Society the home it deserves and it preserves more of downtown’s history,” Terwilliger added.  “Of course donations from the public would help the cause and keep the museum running also.”

The Eudora Community Museum is open most weekdays and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.   The museum is located on the south east side of the Old Nottingham Elementary School  at 14th and Church Street.  Museum tours can also be arranged with the leaders of the Eudora Area Historical Society, Glenn Wineinger or Jim Harris.  The Eudora Area Historical Society preserves and maintains the history of the city and township of Eudora and the surrounding communities of Clearfield, Fall Leaf, Hesper, Prairie Center and Weaver.