The Moniteau County Historical Society held its Annual Ice Cream Social Saturday, July 14. Ham and chicken salad sandwiches, chips, homemade desserts along with ice cream and drinks were served at the fundraiser organized by the ways and means committee. Funds raised at the ice cream social went to the general fund which goes to operating costs of the Cultural Heritage Center, Genealogy Library and meetings held each month in the meeting room.
"It began as our regular July meeting," Dave Jungmeyer, Moniteau County Historical Society vice president, said. "Since July was hot, we thought an ice cream social would be good. And it has been going since the 1980's. Financially, it has been extremely helpful and has kept the lights on and so forth. But I think it is a good way to connect with the public and for those in the community to come in. A lot of people have never been in the Cultural Heritage Center, our museum, and this way they can do that too."
Moniteau County Historical Society President Pam Green said the Genealogy Library, where people can look up records and documents of those in Moniteau County, is becoming more and more popular all the time.
"The more data we collect the more people who are coming in," Green said. "We have a website and people find out about it through there. We are open from April through October on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the afternoons. There is usually someone here if someone wants to pop in or meet. Of course with the new building we will have a lot more room and will be able to spread things out a little further and make things a little more accessible to people."
Green said construction on the new Genealogy Library should begin sometime in August. Jungmeyer said they have raised approximately 80 percent ($80,000) of the cost of the project with approximately 20 percent ($20,000) still needed.
"We have people who are very supportive," Jungmeyer said. "The library is not just for those in California either. People from all over the state and from other states have visited and are connected to the library. In fact, there is a lady who has donated quite a lot and is from out of state but uses the library and is very supportive of the organization as a whole. We have some very hard workers who eat, sleep and breathe genealogy. So if for example, you wanted to look up your genealogy they could probably help you out. One thing about our website is you can look at the cemetery records and there is a photograph of just about every tombstone in Moniteau County. You can look it up by name. I think we have one of the best websites in the state."
Jungmeyer went on to say the Cultural Heritage Center has become a top quality place because of the hard work of several volunteers. After Green mentioned how she and her husband Rich have been pleased to connect with the society even though they do not have family from the area in the genealogy library, Jungmeyer talked about how wonderful it has been seeing transplants to the community such as the Greens get involved.
"You do not have to be a lifelong member of Moniteau County to appreciate what goes on here," Jungmeyer said. "I am a charter member of the society since it started in 1966. My mother was the first secretary and I was born and raised in Moniteau County. So it has always been a home for me. But it has become a home for a lot of other people too and that is a really neat thing."
The Cultural Heritage Center, Genealogy Library and meeting room are all located at 201 North High Street. The Moniteau County Historical Society meets the second Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the meeting room. For more information, go to www.moniteau.net or call Carole Schroeder at 573-796-2250.
"Rich and I live close by," Green said, "we got involved in 2004 when we had the first tour of our house (the Eitzen Mansion), and raised money for California Progress Inc., and the Historical Society. I think personally, since we do not have family here, it has been great just getting to know people. When you are new in town one of the only ways to meet people is to get involved. You meet people and hope to make a difference. The people I have met are the big deal for me."
For more great stories check out the July 18 issue of the California Democrat.