Museum in crisis. Waterloo Area Historical Society reaches out to community

 

The Waterloo Farm Museum and Dewey School have been historical fixtures in the Stockbridge community for 58 years. During that time, organizers have provided ongoing educational opportunities for over 1,200 schoolchildren a year and celebrated local history through seasonal events like Pioneer Day, the Antique Tractor Show, Blacksmith-Log Cabin Days, and Christmas on the Farm.

As with many other small businesses and nonprofits, the museum and school are feeling the negative effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. One major hit was the cancellation of the organization’s school programming for this season.

“Funding from events and educational programs supports the maintenance and upkeep of the museum,” Brian Dewey explained. Dewey is president of the Waterloo Area Historical Society. “To enable the museum to keep its doors open and provide future programming, we’ve had to think of some creative ways to encourage financial support.”

Due to harsh winter elements and spring winds this year, the 34-year-old roof on the farmhouse must be replaced in order to preserve and restore this iconic landmark. The current wooden shingles on the house have reached the end of their life and need to be replaced to extend the life of the building well into the future. In days past, the farmhouse had a metal roof, and replacing it will return the look of the home to the era of the 1890s—the heyday of the farm’s booming success.

Work to restore the roof to its original integrity has been scheduled for early June. In the meantime, the Waterloo Area Historical Society has established a fundraiser to raise the monies needed for the replacement of the farmhouse roof.

Dewey’s commitment to this effort is evident in his enthusiasm for the project. “Establishing a new roof will secure the farmhouse for future stewards of the museum, ensure stability of our historical programming, and maintain our local history for future generations,” he explained.

For those interested in donating to this effort, donations are being accepted by mail and online. Those who mail in checks of $100 or more will be recognized in the Museum’s “Buy a Panel” program. Mail-in donations should be made payable to “Waterloo Area Historical Society.” Address: PO Box 37, Stockbridge, MI 49285.  For those who wish to donate online, look for the charity.gofundme.com link on the museum’s Facebook page, which is titled “Waterloo Farm and Dewey School Museum.”

The Waterloo Farm Museum farmhouse roof is in dire need of replacement. Donations are currently being accepted.

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