KPHS Museum celebrates 10 years

Ronda Anderson, Special to KP News Members of the Key Peninsula Historical Society had a dream that some day artifacts from the Key Peninsula would be somewhere all could see. Now those members and others look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary of the KPHS Museum in May. It took more than a building and artifacts to start the museum. Many volunteer hours were needed to build display cases, hang ceiling lights made from the courting buggy wheels of Elmer and Elsie Olson, receive, catalog, and display acquisitions from many donors. As with any venture, it took money to get started, and the museum wouldn’t be open today if not for ongoing donations from community businesses and individuals to meet the museum’s financial needs. The small museum is packed with pieces of local history. Showcases for Lakebay, Longbranch, Home, and Vaughn/Glencove each have items particular to that area. One showcase has baskets from the early Native Americans of the area. Another showcases the logging industry with a coal oil bottle, froe and mallet for cutting cedar shakes, a 1952 7- hp McCullough loggers’ chain saw, and wood planes from the estate of Capt. John Wahlborg. A herring rake hangs from the wall, as well as senior pictures from Vaughn Union High School. A couple of swimsuits used at Faraway in Longbranch adorn the wall above the display case, along with a Faraway sign. Of course there’s a nice collection of “old” toys, including an 1895 doll, Solar bicycle gas lamp, pencil box and a 1920s Little Red Rider. Many items to look at, enjoy, and to bring back memories of being a “kid” before television, computers, and video games. The Mosquito Fleet was important to the establishment of many communities on the Key Peninsula. As the peninsula is surrounded by water on three sides, early transportation to Glencove, Vaughn, Home, Lakebay, and Longbranch was by boat to deliver goods as well as people. Pictures of many of the boats that served the area are on display, as well as a foghorn from 1897, a marine compass, and many other fine articles. A kitchen area with a cookstove used in the Home school at 6th and C streets, along with a Griswold waffle iron from the Bradley House in Vaughn, are among the many wares from early kitchens and laundry. A new display on Sallie Sloan by Caitlin Kezele, for her Peninsula High School senior project, is currently on exhibit.  
Celebrate the museum’s anniversary KPHS members invite the public to join them on Saturday, May 7, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their dream. Stop by the Civic Center, home of the museum, to celebrate, look back to earlier days on the Key Peninsula, and view the Sallie Sloan exhibit, graduation pictures of some old-timers, and many wonderful artifacts that tell stories of times long gone.