Judy Bayless, who helped Gladys Pike explain some of the St. Paul Museum treasures to us, showed me the table that was floated down the Ohio in 1831. It’s a simple wooden table, nothing fancy, but we sat there thinking about what it went through to get to St. Paul. While Judy and I were on one side of the museum, Gladys, Nancy and Don were on the other side looking at one long wall covered with photographs made large.

There’s a beautiful old buggy in the St. Paul Museum. Adrian said the buggy was purchased at an estate auction just north of St. Paul.

“It was in bad shape but it had good bones. The McAhern family owed it and I purchased it and had it restored by an Amish craftsman in Shipshewana, Indiana. It has a family connection since my aunts were both married to the McAhern brothers.”

I learned why they sat so high off the ground!

Adrian has collected many items in the building as part of the St. Paul community heritage. That includes St. Paul school items, church items, plus so many things too numerous to mention.

“So important also,” he said, “is the fact that the community has responded with items from their families. That has really made a big difference.”

Stepdaughter Nancy’s favorite item in the museum was the magnificent baptismal that was once in the St. Paul Catholic Church. The baptismal looks much like others we’ve all seen, but it isn’t. It’s painted white, but it is cast iron! That church was built 1858-1859, the first Mass offered July 31, 1859. Stepson Don’s favorite thing? He said, “I’m just surprised it’s here and that there are so many things to see.” Me? My favorite thing is the real Purple Heart earned by Frank Hahn who was in the Battle of the Bulge as a tank driver. After the war Hahn taught at St. Paul school for 39 years.

There’s an iron in the museum that uses gasoline to get hot and stay hot. Wouldn’t it be dangerous to use? Apparently many people loved it. Maybe made ironing easier if you didn’t have to heat the iron on a hot stove. There’s a splendid spinning wheel. By the way, when you walk into the museum, look up on the wall right in front of you and see the building when it was BoBo’s Soda Shop.

Some original paintings are there. Dr. Dickson painted one of the Old Mill and Louella Webb painted Paul Hill, the two story brick home of John Paul. Please look at the incredible embroidery. Don’t miss the letter from Booth Tarkington to the Shelbyville Democrat in 1945 from Kennebunkport, Maine.

I mentioned last week that Gladys loves photographs and the museum has most of them enlarged. You’ll see photos of the Indian Mound dig back in 1951 that are fascinating and so valuable. In addition to the 36 human skeletal remains, plus some cremations, they found bone combs, copper bracelets, copper beads and a 9-inch Chert Blade. There were photos of men harvesting the ice crop to be sold. It was then saved until late spring.

Photos of the four bridges – Railroad, Interurban, Swinging and Arch Bridge – are a must see. Be sure to look at the photos of the War Mothers groups. I wonder if every descendant of each has seen them? So much more to see! Adrian said that he and Gladys could spend days telling us about the wonderful heritage of old St Paul. Indeed it might take weeks.

Next week, Gladys Pike will share with us her history about the canning factory. Yes, St. Paul had a huge Stokely Foods canning plant.

The museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, but Gladys will open up for you just about anytime.

Pat Smith may be contacted at news@greensburgdailynews.com.

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