The Garnavillo Historical Society held its annual meeting and volunteer appreciation supper Thursday, November 10 at the Garnavillo Community Center. Twenty-six members and two guests enjoyed the meal and the program that followed. Board member, David Beck gave an enlightening presentation on the history of Motor Mill including excerpts from historical letters, slides, land owners after the mill closed and restoration plans for the mill and Motor site.
President Lanny Kuehl called the meeting to order and secretary/treasurer Jane Thein gave the financial reports. Member Bill Robinson reported on the can redemption center and thanked all those that have helped with the sorting and repair of the redemption building space. Board member Ky Clefisch highlighted the year 2022. Memberships were up to 45. Registered museum visitors had increased to 243 which still falls below pre-covid numbers. Projects completed at the museum included replacement of the bell platform roof, painting and repair of exterior window sills, converting more display fronts to sliding glass doors, strengthening the internet signal, and landscaping in the front. A number of exhibits were also updated or added at the museum. At the log cabin the exterior chinking was completed. Board member June Wolter shared the proposed plans for 2023 which include replacing the museum front door, continuing work on the log cabin and law office, re-roofing the lodge, and additional interior work on exhibits and archives in all the buildings. Three seats on the Board were up for election. David Beck, Ron Kaiser, and Lanny Kuehl were re-elected to the Board of Directors. The evening concluded with Board member Ron Kaiser extending thanks to the members and volunteers for all their work and support, to the City of Garnavillo for the use of the community center, and to those who had served the meal – Carol DeSotel, LuAnn Kahle and Jon McElderry. The evening’s door prize, a gift certificate to Thoma Dairy Bar & Cafe, was won by Bob Bente.
Following the annual meeting, the Board of Directors held a special meeting for the election of officers. For 2023, officers are President David Beck, Vice-President Carol DeSotel, Secretary/Treasurer Jane Thein. The remaining directors are June Wolter, Ky Clefisch, Ron Kaiser and Lanny Kuehl.
Membership renewals and new memberships for 2023 are being accepted. The annual membership fee is $5.00 for adults and $1.00 for students (up to age 18). Membership fees can be mailed to Garnavillo Historical Society, PO Box 371, Garnavillo, IA 52049-0371. New members are welcome to join at any time.
Calendars for 2023 feature existing buildings along Main Street Garnavillo with historical pictures from the past compared to the present. Information identifying past businesses in those buildings is also provided. Calendars are available for $10 at the Garnavillo Library, Community Savings Bank and Corner Shoppe. 2023 Calendars will also be available at the Day Care Bazaar December 3. There are some past calendars still available. They can be purchased for $5. Contact the Historical Society.