CLAFLIN — Claflin’s history museum had to close unexpectedly in 2010 when the building, one of Claflin’s original structures, had severe structural problems.
“One day, we arrived to find the upstairs had become the downstairs,” said Brad Miller, a member of the city’s historical museum board.
On Saturday, May 30, Claflin’s historical museum officially opened for self-guided tours and a walk down Memory Lane as part of a once-in-five-years all school reunion, visitors received their first glimpse at the new and improved history museum, located on the second floor at the south end of the former Claflin school on the north end of Main Street. Support from the community and alumni of the high school also made it possible for the museum to install a stair lift, making the museum handicapped accessible.
In recent years, the city has made space available in the building for a variety of purposes benefiting the community. Today, a wellness center is available to members 24-hours a day, yoga and tai-chi classes are taught, and practice space for team sports as well as a community room for events is available.
“Instead of letting the building become a blight to our community, it’s become a blessing,” Miller said.
The Friends of the Museum created a family-friendly space that allows visitors to enjoy a self-guided tour that includes the sights and sounds of Claflin through the ages. Five spaces filled with photos, stories, and memorabilia include a room dedicated to Claflin’s Wildcats, the former mascot of the high school which is now the home of the Oilers. Another room takes visitors on a trip through the history of entertainment, from pianos to radios to television.
A space dedicated to Dr. Jury, who served the people of Claflin over a 60-year career will once again be on display. Jury is credited with helping birth 2,000 babies over his career, Miller said.
Miller is pleased the city agreed to allow the museum to locate in the space.
“This museum offers a great representation of Claflin and other northern Barton County towns, and it’s important to us to have it showcased in this way,”he said.