Permanent Exhibits
The first floor of the Wabash County Museum holds many items which are permanently displayed as part of our timeline exhibit or in a special permanent exhibit. Pictured below are some of those objects:
These windows are from the Keensburg Methodist Church and anchor the Amen Corner which douments the history of area churches.
This wooden replica drilling rig was made by Gib Glick and his grandson. It includes the dog house, drilling platform, oil tools, pipe, replica engines and all the working parts of the rig. It is one of our most important pieces in the oil exhibit.
The button cutting machine was powered by an electric motor and was used to cut button blanks out of mussel shells taken from the Wabash River. Although mussel shelling is not allowed now because mussels are endangered, at one time mussel shelling and button making were important industries in Mt. Carmel. The shells were also harvested in hopes of finding fresh water pearls.
Brace Beemer was born in Mt. Carmel in 1902, the son of a merchant. He portrayed the Lone Ranger on radio station WXYZ out of Detroit for many years. Brace was not the first Lone Ranger, or the last, but was the best known and played the part longer. The suit of clothing shown here was worn by Beemer in later years, after retiring from his radio career. It is part of a larger exhibit.
This stone marker was originally placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution along a stretch of Old Illinois Route 1 north of Mt. Carmel which was near the site of Palmyra, the first county seat of Wabash County. The town was located at a bend of the Wabash River just north of the mouth of Crawfish Creek. It was a thriving town for several years until a fever killed many of its residents. The county seat was ultimately moved to Mt. Carmel after a court battle and nearly a real battle when residents of the west half of Edwards County wanted the court house to be located in Albion. The state legislature granted a petition to divide Edwards county into two parts. So today the stone sits 1/2 block from the Wabash County Courthouse in Mt. Carmel.
This very large dollhouse was built by Harry Denton (former owner of Denton Drugs) for his daughter Anne. The house was a replica of their own house on Cherry Street in Mt. Carmel. The house is furnished with many original pieces of furniture and dishes and the original man and woman dolls which Anne played with when she was a little girl before she went on to become a renowned artist. The Brubeck Arts Center at Wabash Valley College is named for Anne and her husband Ed Brubeck who were prominent in Mt. Carmel before their deaths. The dollhouse is the centerpiece of our cihldren's area.
The peanut roasting machine was donated to the museum by the Summers family in 2009. It belonged to John Coleman who began his business career selling popcorn on the street corner on Market Street in Mt. Carmel. He sold the small popcorn stand and expanded his business with the peanut roasting and eventually ice cream manufacturing. Later he owned theatres and a dairy business. The peanut roasting machine was used around 1900 and operates by winding a spring on one side which operates all the other moving parts. A burner fueled with kerosene roasts the peanuts, provides lighting and keeps the nuts warm with a hot water jacket around the display box.
The Columbia high wheel bicycle has been restored by volunteer Phil Beal. It was owned by Sereno Schneck around 1875. It is a juvenile sized bike and the length of the leg prohibits taller riders from using the bike. Sereno went on to become a bicycle racer on other types of bikes. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Jacob Schneck and became a doctor in Mt. Carmel.
The square grand piano was owned by Sarah Canedy and was passed down through the female line of the famiy to her daughter Grace Alice Parr, then to Alice Parr Worrell who donated the piano to the Wabash County Museum. Sarah and Grace taught piano students for many years. Grace's husband Charles lovingly restored the piano and kept it in her memory until leaving his home near Rochester.