There's a whole lot of history tucked into one two-story brick building at 100 North Walnut in West Union: and that includes the building.
The Fayette County Historical Center offers a plethora of history and memorabilia in a structure that was once the town's first hospital, where hundreds of babies were once delivered on the second floor in a small room that is now preserved with medical and dental relics of a much earlier era.
Preserving and interpreting Fayette County's history, is the goal of the volunteers who serve on the center's board of directors. At the historical center, visitors can tour some of the dozens of displays that depict life of an earlier era, whereby preserving important history. For example, there's the military room, featuring blue, green, and gray jackets worn by actual Fayette County residents who served their country in one of the branches of the U.S. military.
See the 'Tupper' Red Cross quilt owned by the late Lloyd Tupper who served in the Army Medical Corps and died in 1918. The quilt features names of people who resided in and around Auburn township, Fayette County, where the family lived.
There's a display of cornhusk dolls made by the late Joyce Grimes and featured in Midwest Living magazine in 1990.
There's a diorama of the John Walker General Store that once served the community of Donnan – now home to several families even though the village is no longer incorporated.
Other villages that once were but are only a memory, such as Lima and Albany, are also remembered with important memorabilia of an era when the railroad linked communities together. Yet other rooms depict life from specific eras of time, such as the 1960s kitchen and a rural school classroom.
The lower level of the Historical Museum features a new section devoted to the history of agriculture. The cow that once served as a landmark in West Union, its home being in front of Humphry Dairy restaurant, can be seen in the museum. Its on loan from Phyllis Frey, a descendant of the original owners of the cafe.
For a small fee, persons can research their genealogy, and get copies of important papers, maps and obituaries. There are 8,000 surname files, census records from 1850-1930 and newspapers on file from 1856 in addition to six Civil War rosters.
Email the center at: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Check out their website.
The center's phone number is 563-422-5797.
Office hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Tours are available for groups and youth.