By Keith E. Domke
St. Clair Missourian Editor
The St. Clair Historical Museum board of directors and volunteers have formed a committee to begin searching for a permanent location for their facility and its contents.
Currently, the office space next to St. Clair Health Mart Pharmacy, 855 N. Commercial Ave., is being donated to the museum by owners Mark and Sue Lindemann. The original agreement was for a six-month free lease, and that will expire in September.
“Sue has been more than generous to let us squat next to Health Mart,” museum President Carol Radford said. “We like being there, but eventually we’re going to need a home of our own.”
The museum and the majority of its contents burned to the ground in February. The Lindemanns graciously offered space next to the pharmacy rent-free for the six months to help the museum and its board members and volunteers to get back on their feet.
The scaled-down museum re-emerged late last month, and is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Saved exhibits as well as new donations and purchases ore on display.
The museum group discussed building possibilities during its June meeting, and agreed to form the committee to research and visit potential facilities. A second meeting conducted last week provided an initial list of facility possibilities around town.
Radford said ideally, the museum building should be on one floor, in good condition and have ample parking. The ideal place would be somewhere along Commercial Avenue “to give us that tie-in with Route 66.”
Radford also said the museum would like to purchase a building instead of rent so it eventually can be owned. The previous facility on Hibbard Street was owned by the museum. The board is planning to sell the facility and use the proceeds to help pay for the new place.
She also said it’s possible an extension could happen at the Health Mart property.
“We’ll have to see about that,” Radford said. “Sue already has been so gracious.”
Members of the committee are Radford, Pat Todd, Gib Hoffman, Sue Blesi, Carla Wulfers and Carolyn Barnes.