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Wakarusa Historical Society Celebrates 40th Anniversary

by Amy Wenger on January 15, 2015

It's been four decades since a small contingency of passionate, empowered Wakarusa citizens aligned together and created an organization launched on the premise of preserving the community's legacy.  The Wakarusa Historical Society is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, and they are inviting the public to hear about what this commemorative year will feature for both the group and the museum complex of historic structures.

     The public is encouraged to join the festivities on Sunday, January 18, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., as the Museum plays center stage to an Open House event.  Members of the Wakarusa Historical Society Board of Directors, along with staff members and volunteers, are expected to be on hand to welcome guests and share ideas and input on ways to showcase the Museum's many amenities.  The location of the Wakarusa Historical Museum is situated at 403 East Wabash Avenue in Wakarusa.

     The day will also serve as an opportune time to be enlightened on a number of renovation endeavors that are currently underway at the Museum, including the relocation and enhancement of the two vintage train cars, improvements to Grandma's Haus, clearing and reorganizing the vast collections housed within the Memories Building, and other ongoing projects.

     The current Wakarusa Historical Society Board of Directors includes president Todd Scheets, treasurer Bob Glenn, secretary Amy Wenger, and board members Linda Spicher, Marcia Parcell, Gordy Clark, and Rick Vandegrift.  Sterling Jenson is the Museum Manager, and Robin Wenger serves as a special consultant.  Wakarusa Town Council member Laurelyn Street is the volunteer liaison for the group as well.

     For more details on this affair, contact the Wakarusa Historical Society by calling Scheets at his business number for Wakarusa Electronics, (574) 862-4031, or Spicher at (574) 514-4425.  Messages can also be sent via e-mail at

One of the more interesting developments in recent months at the Wakarusa Historical Museum is how it has become a destination for weddings!  In August, local entrepreneurs Melissa Stump and Jason Perkins, proprietors of the Green Bicycle Boutique in downtown Wakarusa, chose to exchange their vows alongside the historic train depot.  In November, local photographer Joanne (Kaser) Csakany, of Josephiney Photography, became the bride of Paul Csakany at the Museum grounds as well.  To hear more about the sweeping changes that are coming to the Wakarusa Historical Museum, visit the Society's Open House on Sunday,January 18 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.  Contact Todd Scheets at (574) 862-4031 or Linda Spicher at (574) 514-4425 for more information.  (Photo credits - Amy Wenger)


Paul McPheeters, in foreground, gives members of the NorthWood High School football team a lesson on the proper techniques for driving railroad spikes at the Wakarusa Historical Museum.  The young men assisted the Wakarusa Historical Society during their recent mission to relocate the train cars and rework the existing tracks in the early phase of a project that began last fall and is still underway.  To hear more about the progress of that endeavor, visit the Society's Open House event planned for this Sunday, January 18 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Museum., located at 403 East Wabash Avenue in Wakarusa.  (Photo credits - Amy Wenger)




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