DIXON – The Loveland Community House and Museum has uncovered new items with historic ties to Dixon.
Spring cleaning is a four-season job for director Steve Wilson and his assistant Esther Hicks, who recently discovered several interesting items in storage that are now on display.
“It’s a weekly process – we still have so many things in boxes in storage – but we’re reorganizing our inventory and found some new items that tell the story of Dixon’s past,” Wilson said.
Two new displays are dedicated to individuals who influenced Dixon in the early 1900s, as well as a quilt with a special tie to the Civil War.
One display is about Esther Barton, a lifelong educator and Lincoln School’s first principal from 1936 to 1967.
Her famous red checkered scarf, hat and findings from worldly travels can be found on the lower level of the museum.
“Barton was an accomplished suffragette in Dixon and traveled around the world,” Wilson said. “She brought a lot of those items back home, like a whale vertebrae.”
It’s also home to a few clown costumes worn by one of the area’s first electricians, Walter Cromwell, who ran away as a teenager and performed with the Ringling Brothers Circus and a man who was blind in one eye.
Upstairs, there’s a quilt stitched by the women of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Nachusa, in 1889.
“The church would sell the individual squares for about 10 cents each, which was enough to cover the building’s debt,” Wilson said.
The museum also made room for belongings of museum namesake George Loveland, which were stored away.
The displays add to the photographs and mementos from the early days of Dixon, as well as a collection of war memorabilia from the Civil War through the more recent conflicts in the Middle East.
Loveland Community House and Museum, 513 W. Second St., is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Call 815-284-2741or go to lovelandcommunityhouse.org for more information or to make a donation.