The St. Clair Historical Museum raised more money at this year’s banquet, held this past Saturday at the Elks Lodge, than in years past.

The banquet included a silent auction, a live action led by Eugene Vale, dinner catered by Jerron’s Catering, a cash bar and entertainment by Janis and Spike Huff.

Approximately 72 people were in attendance.

A total of $2,183 was raised, which includes the sales of museum cookbooks, memberships and additional donations, according to Carla Wulfers, secretary/treasurer of the museum.

The live auction brought in $939, the silent auction earned $545, and ticket sales, after deductions, was $319.20.

“We did well,” Wulfers said. “I’m real happy with the way things went.”

Last year, profits from the dinner and silent auction amounted to about $1,500.

This year’s banquet tied in with Franklin County’s bicentennial celebration. Vale not only was the auctioneer for the night, but he also dressed up as Ben Franklin. He spoke to those in attendance about the first manned balloon ascension that took place in Paris in 1783.

Wulfers said a St. Clair Historic Museum kite is in the works, which will be soon displayed outside the building.

Several community members and organizations were recognized for their continued work and support of the museum.

Recognition awards were presented to Maxine Scheske, the JROTC, Jennifer Gratzer with Priority Fitness, Angel and Chris Reed, the St. Clair Missourian office staff, and a special recognition to Carol and Verlan Radford.

Wulfers thanked Jerron’s Catering, the Elks for the use of the facility and Cricket West for making a special cake for the event. She also gave special thanks to Eugene Vale for being the auctioneer.

She also thanked several businesses that donated items for the live and silent auctions.

“We had the support definitely of the people in town and the businesses,” Wulfers said.

Proceeds from the banquet will be put toward the mortgage and upkeep of the museum, she noted.

Background

This month marks the five-year anniversary of the museum fire that burned down the previous 115-year-old building in 2014.

The former two-story museum, located on Hibbard Street, had an electrical fire which caused the building to go up in flames.

The Hibbard property is currently up for sale, Wulfers said.

Items lost in the fire included vintage clothing, doctors’ apparatus, old-time kitchen items, and items from the school, Native American and International Shoe exhibits.

Last year, the museum reopened at 560 S. Main St. It is open on Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m., and by appointment.

The one-story building has 800 more square feet compared to the previous site. The new location features a general store, schoolroom, kitchen, Victorian parlor, lead mining exhibit, a barbershop display, post office, Main Street display and more.

For more information about the museum, people may contact Wulfers at 636-667-0231 or send an email to stclairmomuseum@gmail.com, or visit stclairmomuseum.org.