Traer Museum looking for more heart

Volunteer meeting set for Sunday, Jan. 22

Traer Historical Museum volunteer Tony Weida (right) demonstrates a corn sheller during Holiday Happenings 2021. Contributed photo

The Traer Historical Museum wants to start up again after being closed last year due to the pandemic, and is looking for more heart to do so.

The heart would be museum volunteers.

To begin this process, the museum would like to organize a volunteer group. The first meeting will be Sunday, January 2nd, 2022. Soup and snacks will be available at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting will begin at 7:00 p.m. Social distancing will be required and masks suggested. It will be held at the Traer Historical Museum.

We encourage anyone and everyone to attend. Bring a friend! Perhaps you don’t have time to volunteer. We still would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. What programs and exhibits would you like to see? What about the museum interests you? We want to hear how we can improve.

A large need of the museum is to be open more hours. Many people hesitate to “host” the museum because they feel unfamiliar with the museum displays and items, or they feel they don’t have enough knowledge of northern Tama County history. We plan to address that concern by having guides of the museum available. What matters most is the love of the community and the knowledge the host DOES have, and willingness to share with others. We plan to familiarize volunteer members with what IS in the museum and the resources available to investigate Traer, Buckingham, Dinsdale, and Geneseo histories.

Iowa just celebrated its 175th birthday on Tuesday, Dec. 28. In conjunction with the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Traer Historical Museum will be celebrating 175 years of Iowa history throughout the year 2022. When Iowa became a state in 1846, no European settlers were to be found in Tama County. The first European settlers to northern Tama County were in the mid-1850s. Contributed photo

Whatever suggestions and opinions you would like to share, we hope to find a place for them at the Traer Historical Museum. For example, we have guests sign the register because attendance is recorded in museum surveys, and the data is useful in obtaining grants. A volunteer suggested we put up a sign near the register, explaining this. Good idea! Someone asked why we didn’t have any museum YouTube videos. Great idea! Another person inquired about sharing the history of a country rural school they attended. Let’s do it! We LOVE and NEED people sharing the history they know as well as helping us to better reach out to patrons. PEOPLE are needed to accomplish these things.

We would love to develop educational programs demonstrating skills used in northern Tama County Iowa history. We received many compliments on the corn shelling demonstration during Holiday Happenings. Those kinds of events make history fun. Would you be willing to share a skill you know? OR, what would you like to learn? Would you be willing to portray a person in a cemetery walk or other presentation? These are GREAT ways to share history.

If any of the above suggestions excite you or interest you, please come to the meeting at the Traer Historical Museum on Sunday, January 2, 2022. We want you to be a part of our heart! If you can’t attend this meeting but would like to be a part of the group, send us an email (traermuseum@gmail.com), or call and leave a message (319.478.2346), and we will put you on our volunteer contact list. If you can’t attend but have suggestions for how our museum can serve the community better, please send us an email. If you would like to receive the museum newsletter or donate monetarily, do the same. Any correspondence can be sent to Traer Historical Museum, 514 2nd Street, Traer, Iowa, 50675.

Also, a shout out to some of our current volunteers: Tony & Elsa Weida, Don & Carol Stansbery, Mark Watson, Sharon Bolt, Joyce Richardson, Carol Boyce, Brenda Jensen, Barb Sieh, Arlene Schmidt, Kennan Seda, George Kadrmas, Gene Staker, Sharon Stoakes, Greg & Cynthia Drajna, Bruce & Judy Morrison, Mike & Joan Reuman, and Cynthia Butts, among others. You guys are GREAT and are the people and heart keeping our museum alive.