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ECHOES OF EFFINGHAM: Museum to celebrate 25th anniversary
Effingham Museum - photo by Photo submitted

Join Historic Effingham Society on Sunday Nov. 10, 2019. to celebrate 25 years in the Effingham Museum. The museum is located in the Old Jail at 1002 North Pine near the Old Courthouse in Springfield. Museum tours will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served in the “Hut” on the Living History Site. HES will hold their fall meeting at 3:30 p.m. with Richard Loper as guest speaker. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Historic Effingham Society began in 1986 with its first meeting at the old Reiser Zoller Farm. They desired and dreamed of a place for a museum to display items of historical significance which had been donated.

Over the years the group started with permission from the Effingham County Commissioners to use a room in the obsolete jail building to display things the group was given. Eddie Browning and Richard Loper had a lot of artifacts for display. The original museum which opened in 1994 known as “The Old Jail Museum” consisted of one room, the hall, one jail cell upstairs and use of the kitchen and restroom. The first displays were from the Prehistoric, Native American, Colonial, Revolutionary War and Civil War eras.

The name of the museum changed to Effingham Museum as the HES acquired the use of the entire building and grounds. A genealogy and research library was opened. The United Daughters of the Confederacy has a room for displays. The museum features a Veterans Room of Honor, a 1935 kitchen, an infirmary, jail cells, general store, vintage clothing displays and much more. 

In 2004, the Living History Site began with a donated farm house known as the Seckinger Bridgers house.  It was relocated with permission of the County Commissioners to the site. Donations made renovations possible. Accompanying buildings over the years included the 1790s Morgan Pole Barn, Dasher Smoke House, black smith shop, syrup boiler shed, an equipment shed and carpenter shop.

Other buildings on the site now include the Gnann Summer House with detached kitchen, Ruth and Herman Gnann House, Zittrouer Seckinger House, Blandford Depot, Bethel School and most recently the Rincon Post Office.

The original Boy Scout Hut on the city of Springfield’s property was approved for use by the city and Camp Davis Sons of Confederate Veterans assisted with some of the restoration for a meeting space. 

On a shoe string budget with designated individual donations and help from organizations and local government we are proud of Effingham Museum with10 rooms of displays and our Living History Site with twelve furnished buildings all available for tours. Museum hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and by appointments. Admission is to $3 to $5. Donations are welcome and appreciated. For tour appointments or further information call 912-754-2170.

Come help the Historic Effingham Society now in its 33rd year celebrate our 25 years of progress and plans for the future. See how much our volunteers have accomplished and help us celebrate. 

My apologies for the error in last week’s story on Clyo Methodist Church. It was their 200th Anniversary.

This was written by Susan Exley from Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos or historical information to share contact her at 912-754-6681 or email hesheraldexley@aol.