History Museum Completes Tree

The St. Clair Historical Museum has officially completed its donor tree, a project that started four years ago to help fund the reopening of the museum. At this time, 60 donor leaves have been purchased. Pictured next to the painted tree, from left, are museum officers Nancy Redhage, Jo Schaper, Carla Wulfers and Carol Radford.

After years of raising money for its new location, the St. Clair Historical Museum at 560 S. Main St. has completed its donor tree project. 

The project was part of the “Open Our Doors” campaign, which helped the museum reopen in its new location after the original building was destroyed by a two-alarm fire in 2014.

The donor tree project began approximately two years before the museum re-opened its doors in 2018.

According to Jo Schaper, museum vice president, the late Gilbert “Gib” Hoffman suggested the donor tree as an interesting way to recognize friends of the museum.

Initially, museum officials checked into various types of donor trees but found traditional methods to be cost-prohibitive.

In a stroke of creativity, they decided to paint the tree on the front wall of the building, an effort that was undertaken and finished by local artist Jeff Frossard.

For the leaves of the tree, Schaper contacted Joe Jasper, owner of Creations with Character, to manufacture wooden leaves, each engraved with a donor’s name.

When mounting the leaves, museum officials deemed the most effective way would be velcro, to allow for rearrangement and growth.

“That’s the beauty of this tree, we can keep adding branches and expanding and letting it grow,” said Carla Wulfers, museum treasurer.

The museum is open every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m.

To purchase a donor leaf, call Wulfers at 636-667-0231.