Wanakena History Center Moves Closer to a Reality:
Currently the Wanakena Historical Association's (WHA) collection of objects, photographs, and documents can be viewed by appointment only and is primarily located on the third floor of the home of Trustee & past-President, Bill Gleason. Additional items are stored by other Trustees/members. Further, the WHA is aware of historic objects that may be donated or loaned once there is a physical location for display and centralized storage.
At the June 2018 WHA meeting, a committee was tasked with assessing an opportunity to create a Wanakena History Center. This committee worked through the summer visiting two local museums and evaluating different building possibilities in Wanakena and their related costs. The goal was to create a place where our history can be available to the public and those who take the J. Otto Hamele historic walking tour.
At the September 22nd WHA meeting, the committee reported their findings, and there was a thoughtful and lengthy discussion on taking the next step to create a physical location to display historic artifacts and documents already in our possession. A consensus vote of the Trustees and WHA members present at the September meeting agreed to accept a generous offer that would rescue and utilize one of the original Wanakena houses, located at 21 Second Street (see Photos). It is critical that two more partners/owners be identified before restoration could begin. Once repairs and renovations are complete, the WHA agreed to take on responsibility for paying the operating expenses which include taxes, sewer & utilities, as well as obtaining necessary insurance for an estimated total of $3,000 - $4,000 annually. In addition to this agreement with the property owners, the Trustees realize that the WHA will need to apply for grants and/or raise funds to furnish the space, obtain display cases and equipment, and provide storage for documents and photographs.