The Grinnell-Angelus Area Heritage Center is located in Grinnell on South Adams Street in the historic 1921 Grinnell Township Hall. The hall is beautifully maintained with its original tin ceilings and oak floor.
It is still the center of government for Grinnell Township in Gove County, but in the past, it also was the community center where elections, plays, dances, dinners and even church meetings took place.
The center was founded by a group of community members in 2007 whose aim was to preserve the history of the five communities and rural areas we serve in northwest Gove County, southwest Sheridan County and far southeastern Thomas County in northwest Kansas.
The Township Board agreed to allow us to use the hall as a Heritage Center. The mission of the Grinnell-Angelus Area Heritage Center Inc. is to gather, classify and preserve a wide variety of artifacts from our communities of Grinnell, Angelus, Orion, Campus, Orange and the surrounding rural areas to demonstrate the uniqueness of our area of Kansas, and to provide a place where people can access them.
We chose as our motto this saying: “Spanning the past, present and future of the area communities of Angelus, Campus, Grinnell, Orange and Orion, Kansas — Let’s save our memorabilia before it is all lost!” It was rapidly disappearing as it is in many towns.
Displays from each community: their businesses, schools, churches, families, events, and all sorts of artifacts can be found at the center. We have had great support in obtaining priceless memorabilia including the Grinnell High School Alumni collection. We established a research center on the old stage with many documents and resources available to the public. Each item in our collection is given an acquisition number, scanned or photographed, and entered into our electronic database.
One special project we have accomplished with a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation was to have our old newspapers digitized and uploaded to the internet. Check them out at grinnell.advantage-preservation.com/.
We also publish a newsletter four times a year called the Heritage Center Past Times, free with membership or by visiting the center. A community birthday and anniversary calendar also are available.
We will be celebrating our 10th year this season. We are open beginning around Memorial Day (no heat) from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays weekly and by appointment. We host several special events each year, including special exhibits. We have been focusing on our area’s World War I veterans in the centennial years of the Great War.
By memberships, contributions, grants and fundraising, we continue to expand our collection each year.
For more information, contact us by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (785) 824-3358 or (785) 824-3411.
Judy Hart is chair of the board of directors of the Grinnell-Angelus Area Heritage Center.