The Haviland Heritage Foundation has update their museum room at the Heart of America Science Museum with several war displays and more.
The Haviland Heritage Foundation restarted in 2015, with the goal of “raising money and awareness for a Haviland Heritage Museum Room at the Heart of America Science Museum,” according to Marlene Lofgren, Chair of the HHF board. Since then, board members along with community members have gathered artifacts, information, and history on buildings that stood in Haviland, people who lived here, and even what they wore.
The newest addition to the museum is a compilation of 70+ letters of WWII veteran John Arthur Fast, who fought overseas against the Axis Powers along with four of his brothers. The letters tell an amazing story of hardship, success, and just everyday life trying to make it as a SWK farmer during some of the hardest times in America’s history.
“We are so thankful to have received the letters (from the Fruit/Fast family) that John Arthur Fast wrote to his family during WWII. John A Fast was from a family of 9 siblings and was a Haviland graduate. The letter are such a nice addition to our Veteran display this month,” said Lori Binford, Museum director.
The veterans display also has a Civil War uniform worn by Milton Asher, who served in 1861 and 1862 for the Union Army. His son Dayton Asher homesteaded 3.5 miles west of Haviland, where many Asher decedents came from, leading to four generations of Haviland residents who would journey through the Haviland school system. Other uniforms include a WWII uniform worn by Haviland Resident Duane Larsh. Corporal Doyle Clark’s uniform also sits inside the walls of the museum, along with a photo of him and movie star Audie Murphy. Clark was an extra in one of Murphy’s movies. There’s a cheerleading uniform worn by Janice (Whitney) Disney, a 195-year-old Quaker dress in astonishing condition (owned by Mary Dillon, Great-Great-Grandmother of Haviland Resident Sheri Elliot), and a beautiful nurses cape, worn by Doris Ferguson.
Other displays include old telephones along with some history of the Haviland Telephone Company. Some artifacts from the Victory Schoolhouse, a one-room school north of Haviland are sure to draw attention, along with beautiful podiums from the Haviland Friends Church that stood from 1905-1962 and Founders Hall, a building on the campus of Barclay College.
There are also three videos to watch that display the history of Haviland.
All of this hard work will be on display on Saturdays starting in May. Open hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.. until September, or by appointment. The Haviland Heritage Foundation continues to do fundraisers and will add more artifacts and history on Haviland and the surrounding area.
Haviland Heritage Foundation Board Members include Marlene Lofgren, Chair, Jean Jones, Vice-Chair, Peggy Frederick, Treasurer, Glenn Leppert, Secretary, Lori Binford, Museum Director, and members Jeanne Sneed, Sheri Elliot, Anita Kendall, and Chris Ballard. Historical consultants include Sandi Fruit and Dolores Williams.