Visitors to the Howard County Museum during the fall of 2012 noticed something happening in the breakfast room of the Seiberling. Once home to the gift shop, and the society's office before that, the room is now home to an extraordinary Civil War exhibit.
Curator Stew Lauterbach led a team effort to develop the exhibit, which features photographs and artifacts from local collector Craig Dunn - and a unique letter on loan from Katherine Morehead. Dunn has built one of the state's most remarkable collections of material related to Indiana Civil War soldiers. He also authored two books about Hoosiers caught up in the war between the states. Craig has loaned a small portion of his collection to the historical society for this exhibit, and we've supplemented that with items from the county museum archives and collections. Morehead is a descendent of T.J. Harrison, the highest-ranking Howard County veteran of the war, and has allowed us to display an original letter home written by Harrison.
Lauterbach's team includes curatorial assistant Jaclyn Ayers and volunteer Randy Smith, with able assistance from archivist Bonnie Van Kley, photo tech Gale Leiter, building and grounds manager Bill Baldwin, and Executive Director Dave Broman. Smith alone provided more than 200 hours of volunteer time doing research and writing for the exhibit.
The exhibit will be open to the public through the end of June 2013. The Seiberling Mansion will be decorated for Christmas through the end of the year, so visitors will enjoy both the holiday atmosphere and the new display.