In April of 2011, Anne Jackson, Martha Jackson, Carol Burke and Chick Bishop met at City Hall. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss putting together a post card book, similar to one Anne had recently seen in Jacksonville, Illinois. Anne’s father, the late David A. Jackson, had an extensive collection of postcards depicting Litchfield’s rich history. One short hour later, the post card book was only a small part of the equation. The four decided to try to rally Litchfield citizens and pursue the idea of developing a museum in Litchfield.
The idea of a museum was not a new one. Many have wished for some time to have a museum to document and archive items from Litchfield’s past. David A, Jackson, a lifelong resident of Litchfield was an avid collector of Litchfield items. After his death, his family put together a sample of his collection. On the second floor of Litchfield's Carnegie Library, two cases have been filled: one case holds historical pictures of Litchfield, while another has memorabilia from past Litchfield businesses.
By May of 2011 a small group of citizens began meeting regularly to pursue the museum idea. Officers were elected. Local museums were visited. By Laws were developed. The post card book--- now the first fund raiser for the museum--- was assembled and printed. Land was purchased on Historic Route 66. The effort was truly underway.
As the meetings continued, Michael Morgan, of Shoal Creek Designs, stepped up to help with a beautiful web site design and Facebook page for the project. The group decided it was very important to include Route 66 in the project, and decided that the name would be the LITCHFIELD MUSEUM & ROUTE 66 WELCOME CENTER. Contacts were made and relationships nurtured with folks involved with Route 66 tourism. Andy Richie devised a plan to ride his bike from Santa Monica, California to Chicago, Illinois on Route 66 to bring attention to the project and become our second major fundraiser.
A building design buy John Fletcher was unanimously approved by the group. Carol Hampton Berry came up with a floor plan for the building. United Builders (Larry Pence) was hired as the builder. The post card book went into its second printing.
In April 2012, the group received word that they were deemed a non-profit organization when their 501c3 application was finally approved. On April 23,2012, exactly one year and ten days after the first meeting, a ground breaking ceremony was held. Construction scheduled to begin on May 1, started three days early.
Questions can be directed to any of the current officers:
Martha Jackson: President ~ Nick Adam: Vice President ~ Anne Jackson: Secretary ~ Sharon Wood: Treasurer