Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

November 12, 2012

Museum opens

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM —     After ribbons were cut, the Old Effingham Courthouse Museum saw several hundred visitors were given a peak at life how used to be in the county.

    The museum, which featured a variety of items from the county’s history, including military uniforms, period accurate model trains and a variety of photos and collages, opened at 1 p.m. Sunday after months of hard work by volunteers to get the old court house ready for visitors.

    “It’s exhilarating,” said Delaine Donaldson, chairman of the Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association. “We’ve had a tremendous sense of accomplishment.”

    While Sunday was an important day for the museum and those who have helped to set it up, Donaldson wanted to  make sure that veterans would also be honored during the building’s opening.

    “We’re really celebrating veterans from across Effingham County,” Donaldson said.

    Several rooms in the museum pay tribute to those who have served. Whether it’s in a collection of military uniforms, models of the USS Effingham or an entire area devoted to life on the home front during World War II, it’s clear that military involvement has always been a part of Effingham County’s history.

    Visitors to the museum seemed impressed with the amount of history on display and the way it spoke to the community’s past.

    “It’s like I was saying,” said Lulubelle Winn, of Effingham, as she stood in what was once the courtroom and now features photos of long past Effingham officials. “It these walls could talk, there would be so much history. It should be part of history and thank God people have kept it that way.”

    Other visitors saw the museum as a way to escape back into a life they had lived many years before.

    “It makes me feel good,” said Kenneth Chapman, of Effingham, who had worked on trains similar to those modeled in the museum. “I love seeing it. I live in the past most of the time anyway.”