Seymour Museum Center kicks off capital campaign

The Seymour Museum Center’s capital campaign is underway.

Donations are being accepted in hopes of raising more than $90,000 to complete Phase 1 of the restoration project of the historic post office building on the corner of Third and Chestnut streets in downtown Seymour.

Capital campaign sponsorship levels are bronze, $500 to $999.99; silver, $1,000 to $4,999.99; gold, $5,000 to $9,999.99; and platinum, $10,000 and up. Window sponsorship is $1,600.

“Any gifts will be greatly appreciated and recognized,” said Lenny Hauersperger, president of the museum board. “Our board, contractors/vendors and volunteers have been hard at work cleaning, upgrading and improving the space.”

Checks should be made payable to Seymour Museum and mailed to Seymour Museum, P.O. Box 1138, Seymour, IN 47274 or contributions may be made at JCB for the Seymour Museum Center.

The museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so all donations are tax-deductible.

The $90,000 needed along with the already committed funds of $47,100 will complete the first phase.

“As you can see, we still have a long road to completion, but we have a good start,” Hauersperger said. “Volunteers and financial support from the visitor center and redevelopment commission have enabled us to reach this point. Our hope is that we can see real improvement by the end of summer.”

The museum board has been working to restore the building to showcase historic Seymour articles, including an Ahlbrand carriage made in Seymour, the mail wagon used to deliver rural mail in the early 1900s, a Welch telephone collection and a train room dedicated to the Seymour Train Club that displays a working model train layout and other train memorabilia.

Historic artifacts and memorabilia also are being accepted.

The roof has been replaced, a new handicap-accessible restroom is nearly complete and work is ongoing to install an HVAC system.

Also, seven historic windows have been restored thanks to seven local individuals, families or businesses providing sponsorships. Each donation is recognized with a dedication plaque to identify the donors.

“Work also continues in the large exhibit room, foyer and restoration of the remaining eight historic windows,” Hauersperger said.

A gift of $25,000 would finish the hardwood floors, $10,000 would complete the front foyer and entry room or the train room and $5,000 would complete the bathroom.

Also, a gift of $100,000 would name the large gallery room, and a gift of $50,000 would name half of the gallery room.

Families, individuals or businesses interested in making a donation to name or sponsor an area are encouraged to contact Hauersperger at 812-530-9272.

The long-term vision of the museum board is to create displays of industrial and business history, family histories, personal collectibles of significance to the area, pictures, sports hall of fame recognition and other artifacts of historic importance to Seymour.

Anyone having items for consideration should contact Rodney Farrow at 812-525-1209.

“In a time when it seems historic buildings are being destroyed, the Seymour Museum Center is working to preserve a historic downtown building that will attract visitors to Seymour,” said Bob Kamman, treasurer of the museum board.

Joining Hauersperger, Kamman and Farrow on the board are Mindy Clay, Bob Bicknell, Jerry Hackney, Carol King and Kevin Greene.

Once the first phase is complete, the hope is the building will be ready to open for school tours, special downtown events and tours by appointment.

Phase 2 will complete the second-floor exhibit room; Phase 3 will include exterior work, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant needs and drainage; Phase 4 will focus on the east side office, meeting, library and storage areas; and Phase 5 will include the basement gallery space.

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To contribute to the Seymour Museum Center capital campaign, make a check payable to Seymour Museum and mail it to Seymour Museum, P.O. Box 1138, Seymour, IN 47274 or visit any branch of JCB.

The museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, so all donations are tax-deductible.

For information, to schedule a tour or donate historic Seymour artifacts, call Lenny Hauersperger at 812-530-9272. Artifact donations also may be made by calling Rodney Farrow at 812-525-1209.