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Archive for Thursday, May 6, 1993

EFFECT ON TOWNS HIGHLIGHTED AT MUSEUM

May 6, 1993

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The newest display at the Clinton Lake Museum reads like a list of current residents Steele, Flory, Colman, Hadl, Clough and so on as it illustrates the impact of war on the existing and former communities in the Clinton area.

The display spans more than a century and includes photographs of men and women who lived in the area at the time they were called to war. Descendants, relatives and friends of many people included in the exhibit still live in the area.

Panels feature information from the Border Wars of the late 1850s, the Civil War (1861-1865), the Spanish-American War (1898), World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), Vietnam (1961-1975), and the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

In addition to the panels, the exhibit features a glass case filled with war memorabilia, such as uniforms and sheet music from the two World Wars, souvenirs brought home from foreign countries, ration cards and more photos.

THE WAR exhibit is the fifth in a series at the museum that explores the history of the Clinton Lake area prior to construction of the lake by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The other four exhibits religion, education, agriculture and weather now are on display at the Elizabeth M. Watkins Community Museum in Lawrence.

"I guess everything that we've done has reflected the times and lives of people who've lived here," said Martha Parker, director of the Clinton Lake Museum. "War is something that has affected people very deeply."

Parker said members of the Clinton Lake Historical Society have been interested in a war exhibit for several years and started planning it about a year ago. Several hundred photographs were collected by issuing a plea to residents and digging through the files at the Watkins Community Museum.

BETTY LAIRD, president of the Douglas County Historical Society, said the two museums work closely together to share resources and talents.

"What determines what we do is what we have the artifacts, the information and the pictures, especially," she said.

In compiling information for the exhibit, the women stumbled upon never-before-displayed photographs and heard many new anecdotes about local veterans and their experiences.

The Border Wars panel features the first photograph they'd ever seen of Fort Saunders, a pro-slavery post that was located just south of Lone Star. "It was the only lake area community that sympathized with the South," Parker said.

The World War II panel probably is the most popular with visitors, who look for photographs of war buddies and relatives. The panel includes pictures of the four young men from the Clinton area who were killed or missing in action Roy Goff, Alfred Houk, Walter Houk and Leo Wulfkuhle.

PARKER AND Laird said they encountered some resistance when seeking information about area Vietnam War veterans. "People were reluctant to talk about it at first," said Parker.

While viewing the new exhibit, visitors also are treated to music from the Civil War and World War II eras.

The war exhibit will remain at the museum for two seasons, which run from May through September. The museum is located in the Bloomington Public Use Area at Clinton Lake; its hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and by appointment.

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