Archive for Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pact with city called a ‘win-win situation’

September 29, 2005

Lansing Historical Society members have reason to celebrate a recent agreement to turn over operation of the Lansing Historical Museum to the city of Lansing beginning Jan. 1, the society's president said at the group's annual meeting.

"This is one of those win-win situations," the society's president, Linda Lockwood said.

Because the city will have a dedicated, full-time manager for the museum and expanded operating hours at the museum, 115 E. Kansas Ave., the society will be able to erect a highway sign for the museum. State law limits highway signs to attractions that are staffed at least 30 hours a week, she said. Because Historical Society volunteers staff the museum, it is open only from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, February through November.

The annual meeting, held Sept. 21 at Lansing Community Center, 700 First Terrace, began with a potluck dinner and was attended by 36 people. After a short business meeting - a report from treasurer Leonard Lockwood that showed the club to be in good financial health, with some $25,000 in assets - the group's president spoke.

Linda Lockwood said with the city running the museum, the society should be able to focus on activities besides fundraising - its principle focus until now - such as playing host to groups. This summer, for example, the society helped out on two occasions: when a group of more than 100 antique car buffs and the members of the Kansas Mayors Association toured the museum.

"The group of 100 in July and the mayors were just the start," Lockwood said.

The museum eventually will form part of the complex that will comprise the Regional Prisons Museum. The society, which counts more than 200 members, will hold two seats on that museum's board.

The society renewed the two-year terms for five of its board members: Nadine Grafe, Clyde Huffman, Bob Riese, Verlin Tompkins and Francis Wayman. The club elected one new board member to replace John Sloan, who was stepping down because of job obligations. In his place, James Cuer was elected to the board.

Lastly, member and Current columnist Gene Young spoke to the group for a trip down memory lane that recalled the museum's founding, from the site's groundbreaking in 1991 to the 1992 moving of the old depot that was located just north of Lansing Lumber, 211 Main St., the building's rehabilitation and the myriad fund-raisers in between and since.

Young said he thought the museum should have at its entrance for all visitors to see an oil painting of Dr. James Lansing Taylor, the first postmaster of Lansing and the source of the city's name.

Young brought several historical documents to show to fellow members, including binders of old newspaper articles, letters of reference for his father from employers and a sample ballot from Lansing's incorporation in 1959.

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