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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Project to gather history of Sikeston area

Monday, June 26, 2006

Depot voluntees Willene Miller and Rudi Gilbertson stuff envelopes.
SIKESTON - With 52 churches and 22 civic organizations in Sikeston/Miner, history can be made and lost in the blink of an eye. However, the administrators and volunteers at the Sikeston Depot Museum want to make sure this never happens as they begin their Sikeston Community History Project.

The goal of this project is to gather the history of every church and civic organization in Sikeston/Miner and make it readily available to the public free of charge, said Mike Marsh, Depot curator.

"The project is the first step in the Depot's new emphasis on Sikeston area history," said Marsh.

The project got the go-ahead at the Depot board meeting June 14. They wasted no time in getting the project started. The effort began Friday when the Depot sent out letters to every local church and civic organization requesting help in gathering the history.

"The Depot relies almost solely on volunteer work," said Marsh. "Although we realize this is somewhat of an inconvenience, we are relying on the organizations to gather their own history and keep us updated with new events. We cannot do this without their help."

The Depot hopes to collect information such as the origins of the organization or church, founding members, special activities or events, charitable works and any other valuable pieces of history that can fit into a file folder.

"The churches and civic organizations are an intricate part of the history of Sikeston," said Betty Johns, Depot Board of Directors president. "The Board finds this to be a very worthwhile project."

Marsh proposed this project to the board several months ago.

"I always wanted to do this but never had time when I was teaching," said Marsh. "Now, as acting director, I have the time to devote to the project." The history of every organization and church in Sikeston has never been readily available in one place.

"We are the museum of Sikeston and it is logical that we would have the history of the organizations and churches that make up such a large part of this community," continued Marsh.

"To date, we don't have the complete history of any organization or church in Sikeston, only a few scattered things," said Johns.

Although the files will not be on permanent display, Johns said they will be kept in the Depot and available for viewing at any time to any person interested.

"There will also be opportunities for the history of a church or organization to be individually displayed in the future," added Johns.

Although there isn't an exact date for the project's completion, Marsh said it is hoped to have the all the information gathered and sorted by the end of the summer.

If any church or organization in the Sikeston/Miner area was not contacted, Marsh said they should contact him at the Sikeston Depot.