New Chelsea History Museum shares stories, seeks more items

Bob Wanninger and Juanita Champion look through a donated scrapbook in the new Chelsea History Museum located in Chelsea City Hall. Photo by Kathryn Acree.

By KATHRYN ACREE

Chelsea officially became a city in 1996, and its long-time residents had stories and artifacts to share of the once sleepy community. Likewise, city councilmember Juanita Champion and former city clerk Bob Wanninger felt Chelsea needed a museum to tell its story.

“We first started talking about it about six years ago,” said Champion. “We had designs on the Crane House when the City bought it.  That became the library so we’re opening the museum in the former library location in City Hall.”

Champion and Wanninger foresee the museum being open in a limited way starting this month, perhaps on Sunday afternoons. They are continuing to reach out to residents for items to be in the museum. Artifacts already donated include memorabilia from Chelsea’s 1995 campaign to be a city and older items such as farm tools, photographs, a plow and even a wagon without the bed.

One item Wanninger and Champion seek more information on is the former Chelsea train station that was torn down in the mid 1940s.

“We’ve hunted a good train station picture for at least eight years,” Champion said.  Wanninger and others have explored the wooded area where the station once stood, uncovering railroad spikes and other items. Many residents remember the station and Wanninger hopes to add a re-creation of the station to the museum in the future.

Watch for more news of the Chelsea History Museum online at http://www.280living.com and on Facebook.

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