Historical Societies

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Historical Societies

Societies are listed in alphabetical order in the following chart.
Click on Society name to view more information.

The Carondelet Missouri Historical Society

Katy Railroad Historical Society

Shelby County Missouri Historical Society Museum 

Washington Missouri Historical Society


Washington Missouri Historical Society


The Washington Historical Society was officially founded in 1959, though groups focused on preserving Washington's history existed long before that. The society was able to buy its current building in 1995 and hired a full time director in 2001.
     Besides its many exhibits and archives, the museum also houses the Four Rivers Genealogical Society whose services are utilized by people across the United States and in several foreign countries.
      Travel Back in time as you walk through our expanded and renovated museum, located in one of Washington's historic downtown districts.
You will find:
* The Ralph Gregory Historical Library
* The Four Rivers Genealogical Society Library and Archives
* The Kiel Collection - Franklin County Historical Records
* Joseph Bayer Pottery and J.B. Busch Brewery Artifacts
* Missouri Meerschaum" Corn Cob Pipe Memorabilia
* Franz Schwarzer Zither Exhibit and Video
* 19th and 20th Century Photography Collection
* Washington Turnverein, Washington Bridge, military exhibits for World War I and II, Dr. Bozzo's office

     The museum is open March through December, Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is located at 4th & Market Streets in Washington, Mo. 63090. For more information call 636-239-0280. The museum is closed from December 24th through February in order to develop new exhibits.


Katy Railroad Historical Society


The Katy Railroad Historical Society, a non profit organization, was formed in Parsons, Kansas, on October 1, 1977 with a nucleus of 43 charter members.
     The purpose of the society is to bring together in close association those persons who have a common interest in the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known to many as the Katy. To increase the enjoyment of their interest through appropriate activities. These include; group trips to points on the railroad, photographic excursions, photo, slide, and video shows, meetings, discussions, and other undertakings of a fundamentally social nature.
     The encouragement of members to contribute, as they are able, to the collection, compilation and publication of interesting data pertaining to the Katy, including preservation of such information for future reference. The increase of knowledge of and fostering of goodwill towards the M-K-T Railroad among members and the general public. The promotion of good fellowship among the members through ethical social functions found to be beneficial, educational, and morally wholesome to those interested in the Katy Railroad.
     Our annual KRHS Spring Meet held at locations on or near the Katy lines feature photo, slide and video shows from the collection of members and other historians. Display tables are setup to display your Katy models and artifacts, and vendor tables featuring materials pertaining to the Katy and other railroads for purchase. The annual business meetings and evening banquet featuring guest speakers associated with the Katy or the transportation industry. A tour of local Katy and other railroad related facilities is scheduled for your enjoyment.
     The Society does not do any antique appraisals.


Shelby County Missouri Historical Society Museum   
Forty years ago on August 8, 1963 a group of 12 interested citizens of Shelby County met to organize the Shelby County Historical Society. In April 1964, Jessie May Greenwell reported museum artifacts had been received. It was decided to start a search process for a suitable museum. The museum was in the courthouse from July 1964 until Oct 1980.
     On March 13, 1981 the society purchased the Ray Bedwell building at 215 S. Center Street in Shelbina, Missouri. In the 1990s the museum was carpeted and air conditioned. In 1997 the Shelbina Home Ec club members, organized by Rhoda Lee Hawkins volunteered to be in the museum every Friday afternoon during the summer months. Now the 49er's volunteer to keep the museum open on Friday afternoons during the summer.
     Our museum was at the Bedwell building location for 22 years. In March 2003 we were forced to sell our building and immediately relocate our entire collection to storage. Within 10 days the entire collection had been boxed, labeled and relocated to storage. On April 22, 2003 we received a check for $7,418 for our museum location from the Shelbina Christian Church.
     In March, Dimmitt...Presson florist at 107 S. Center Street contacted me, their building was available for $22,000. Upon inspection the officers decided the building was suitable for a museum. The first room, 26X40 would house most of the museums collection, the second room 26X18 could become a research library, all our books and research resources could be placed on the shelves already in this room. The third room, 26X17 could be fixed with a minimal of expense and be used for more displays. The overall dimensions of the building is @ 26X75, there is a small storage room in the back. This building has more useable space than our old museum. It also has a bathroom, heat & AC and fire walls. The building has a second story built by the Modern Woodman of America in August 1900.
     On April 25, 2003 a meeting was held and a motion made to purchase the Dimmitt-Presson building for $22,000. We immediately began fund raising.
     On June 6, we closed on the Dimmitt-Presson building and received immediate possession. For the next 6 weeks many volunteers spent hundreds of hours cleaning, painting, and wallpapering. The research room was also carpeted. In mid July all the museums collection was moved from storage to the new museum. The 49er's helped move and clean the collection as it was brought into the museum. The Masonic Lodge brought all the heavy articles.
     We are still in the process of creating displays. The 49er's began tours in August and on Sept 6 we had an Open House and several hundred people toured the museum. On August 23rd, the North East MO Genealogical Society had a meeting at our museum. All our school and church records are at the new location and available for research. The society has 10 large scrapbooks of historical articles, to date 4 have been indexed by Amanda Snider. Our huge collection of old photos is being labeled and either put in picture frames to be hung in the museum or in a vertical file for research.
     To date all the expenses for the improvements for the museum have been paid. Our fund raising is progressing well, as of Feb 2004, we have raised over $20,000 toward our goal of $22,000 to purchase the building. Presently we have over 100 members. Membership to the society is $5.00 per year.
     The SHELBINA TORCHLIGHT building is of historical significance. It was built in May 1895 and was the first building built for the exclusive use of a newspaper office in this part of the state. It installed the first gasoline engine ever seen in Shelby County, and very likely the first ever sold to a newspaper in MO. The Torchlight had over 3,000 subscribers, more than any newspaper in NE MO. Naeter & Haskin sold the Torchlight in 1897 and left Shelbina. Naeter founded the Cape Girardeau SE Missourian newspaper, editing this paper for 61 years. Haskin gained international fame as a writer. Both died multimillionaires, but never forgot their native Shelbina.
     Tours are also available by contacting Shelby County Historical Society President Kathleen Wilham at kwilham@missvalley.com.


The Carondelet Missouri Historical Society  
The Carondelet Missouri Historical Society was founded in 1967 by a group of Carondelet residents whose purpose was to preserve the rich heritage of Carondelet. There were 353 charter members. Our membership today is 358.
     In 1970 a large plaque was erected in Bellerive Park, overlooking the Mississippi River, describing the founding of Carondelet and important dates related to the growth of the community. Also, plaques have been placed on 45 sites of historic significance, including businesses, churches and homes -- each having its own unique place in Carondelet's heritage. Historical papers, books, furniture and many other items have been collected over the years.
Susan E. Blow Kindergarten/Museum
     The Center is the site of the first continuous public school kindergarten founded by Susan Blow in September, 1873. Teachers are encouraged to bring their students to the kindergarten where volunteers will assist the children in re-creating some of the activities of these early kindergartners. There is no charge for classes of students to visit the kindergarten and museum.
Cleveland High School Display
     After Cleveland High School closed in 1984, no provisions had been made to house or care for the many trophies, Beacons, historical items, etc. The Cleveland High School Staff-Alumni Association was formed to be the caretakers of these items. They are now on display on the second floor gallery of the Center and in the Library.
Carondelet Memorabilia
     Other areas of the Center are given to the many mementos of the rich and varied history of Carondelet. Our Library has a variety of resources for genealogical study and historical research. At this time we cannot perform genealogy look-ups.
     The Carondelet Historical Society and Carondelet Historic Center is located at 6303 Michigan Avenue St. Louis, MO 63111. For more information call 314-481-6303.
Hours of Operation:
see web site
Admission: see web site
Tours: see web site








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 03.14.2020 07:06:59 AM -0700