EP009 Iowa Heartland Museum - Melody Lager


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In this episode, Sean Thomas meets with Ms. Melody Lager, the President of the Board of the Heartland Museum located in Clarion, Iowa. Sean shares his thoughts and hopes regarding the new year and recognizes our national Martin Luther King holiday. We learned that the Heartland Museum is a very diverse and unique regional museum! Melody shared an overview of the museum, letting us know that it maintains a collection of antique restored tractors and farm machinery, horse drawn farm equipment and buggies, farm and construction toys, a re-creation of Main Streets in the Victorian Age, the 1930’s and 1950’s. This includes a tribute to Alvina Sellers who was known as the “Iowa Hat Lady”. The museum continues its mission and growth into 2022. Melody shared that the highest priority at this time for the museum is a new building; the cost of which is high; but the museum is out of space at this time. In order to increase the history preserved in the museum, another building is needed. Please donate to this worthy cause! Melody mentioned the following events being planned for this year:

  • An open house murder mystery based on a murder that occurred in Clarion in the late 1800’s. This is being planned for May 2022.
  • Two new exhibits are being installed and Melody is planning a weekend extravaganza to share these with the public and donors.
  • The museum has a new horse that will be used to be harnessed to buggies. That horse needs a name and so the museum will sponsor a “Name that horse” contest. Get involved and help name the horse!
  • Several presentations on Barns, the Civil War, and Geocaching. The Museum has a site used by the public for Geocaching! Sounds great! Just connect with the Museum to have some fun!

There is a cutter snow sled buggy made by the Garland Company in the museum’s collection. As far as anyone knows, it is the only one in the country and very beautiful! She shared some of the history of this rare and unique piece. Very cool! The town of Clarion is where the 4H emblem and clubs started in the US. The museum has the schoolhouse there it all began on the grounds that you can see! You can also use Smile.Amazon.com to automatically donate to the museum every time you shop. Right now, not a lot of people use it. Please sign up to help raise the funds for the new building! There is so much to see that we didn’t have time to review! If any listeners are anywhere near Clarion, IA. I recommend planning a trip to visit this fantastic resource! The folks in Clarion and Wright County are so lucky to have this jewel in their county; preserving their history, values, and culture; and then sharing it for the benefit of the County’s residents of all ages. This is really a treasure! The Museum is open all week and including Saturdays, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The rest of the year, they need you to call to make an appointment to complete the tour. If you’re a listener in the area the museum serves, and you’re not already a donor, then please consider donating and supporting them! They are out of space and need to build a new building in order to preserve and offer more for the County! The Heartland Museum is truly one of our nation’s Preservation Oaks! The contact information for the Heartland Museum is:

Heartland Museum | Facebook

Heartland Museum Antiques, Tractors, Old time stores; Clarion Iowa

Address: 119 SW 9th St

PO Box 652

Clarion, IA 50525

Phone: 515-602-6000

Email: heartlandclarion@gmail.com