After two years at 209 E. Main St. in Union, the Franklin County Historical Society is looking for a new home.
“We were blessed to have this place for two years,” historical society president Lynn Wagner said. “It was a great location.”
Wednesday, August 4 will be the last day the museum is open at the location just northwest of the old Franklin County Courthouse. The building is vacated following the death of its owner, Bob Hansen, in June.
“He apparently had other plans for it,” Wagner said. “He always talked about putting a park there.”
Union Parks manager Chad Pohlmann said he hadn’t heard anything official about a plan to create a park at the site.
The historical society, which has no paid staff, is seeking to raise $400,000 for a new museum space, which Wagner says would be ideally comparable to the current museum, which measures 2,400 square feet plus 600 square feet of space. of storage. She said the historical society would prefer a site near the current location. “We try to stay in the centre, but if we have to go out a bit, that’s no problem.”
The historical society was in a nearby space at 15 N. Oak St. for about eight years before moving to its current location. This space also belonged to Hansen. Wagner said he gave the historical society a choice of which building they wanted to use.
“We chose the one with the best layout and the best lighting,” she said. “Bob has always been a supporter of the Franklin County Historical Society. He was one of the founding members in the 60’s. He’s been letting us use buildings for almost 10 years now.
Hansen helped start East Central College and served on its board of trustees from 1968 to 1996. He took over the family business, Hansen Franklin County Land Title & Abstract Co., and also co-owned Hansen-Schroeder Realtors.
If the historical society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is unable to purchase a building immediately, it would be willing to move into a temporary facility.
“If we don’t find a building right away, we’ll put the items in temperature-controlled storage,” Wagner said. “Items on loan will return to their owners and items belonging to the museum will be in storage.”
The museum will be open from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Donations can be mailed to the Franklin County Historical Society, PO Box 293, Union, MO 63084 or online at bit.ly/2VlUGgO.