Can it possibly be over twenty-five years ago that an enthusiastic group of people from the
county gathered and wished for a place to display items from the rich past of Dubois County?
An idea was expressed and by July 9, 1997 this group, made up of people from the Dubois
County Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and Dubois County
Historical Society, got the idea for a county museum off the ground. As an appetizer of things
to come, they offered to the public, at Trinity Church of Christ Parish Hall, a rich display of WW
II Military “Militaria” Memorabilia collected by avid and extensive collector Marty Vaught.
Then, they met each month, established a Planning Committee, formed a Mission Statement,
by-laws, tax exempt and not-for-profit status, and what we know today as Dubois County
Museum, Inc. was established.

A call went out for county residents to support the museum by purchasing a Charter
Membership or yearly membership. By January 1999 about 320 Members had purchased a
membership for $10 a person, or $20 a couple. A Board of Directors was elected and the first
Membership Dinner was held on March 11, 1999. The fifteen members of the Board of
Directors were Hugo C. Songer, President, Mary Ann Hayes, Vice President, Darla Blazey,
Secretary, Lowell Glendening, Treasurer, Dennis Heeke, Melvin Meyer, Joyce Jackle, John Fierst,
Fred Hollinden, Janet Kluemper, Tom Kellams, Ida Joe Temple, Mary Lou Schnell, Arthur
Nordhoff, Jr., and Karen Wallems.

Other people who made up the Planning Committee included: Hilary Blessinger, Nancy Eckerle,
Joe Fleck, Joseph Gogel, Barbara Mathies, Eileen Schaber, Rosemary Stewart, Mike Temple, and
Tom Thacker. Committees were formed: Finance, Membership, Programs, Collections, and
Budget. Additional people added to these committees were Jack Newton, Darren Patterson,
Doris Hildenbrand, Debra Smith, Geriann Lueken, Michael Kluemper, Sally Boyles, Shane Flynn,
Stanley Jochum, Joe Rohleder, Tom Schum, and W. Jean Hoffman.

The Museum was ready to open its doors at the Vincennes University Jasper Downtown
Campus in the historic Gramelspacher-Gutzweiler Building at the end of January in 1999. Items
relating to Dubois County history were being collected.

As with anything that is supported and loved by many, it soon outgrew its building. The present
location at 2704 N. Newton Street became home to the museum in 2004 and has become a
showplace around the state as the home of Dubois County’s rich heritage and history.
Awards followed. In 2016 the German Immigration Exhibit was awarded a Legacy Award winner
by the Indiana Bicentennial Committee. In 2013, museum Board member and exhibit volunteer
Cheryl Sermersheim, received the Frank and Judy O’Bannon Heritage Enrichment Award from
Historical Southern Indiana for creating Main Street Dubois County and the Little Pioneer
Children’s Interactive Area at the museum. In 2010 the museum was presented the
Outstanding Historical organization Award by the Indiana Historical Society, and the 2005 the
museum was awarded the Certificate of Commendation for General Excellence by the American
Association for State and Local History.

Today (2024) the present location has 50,000 square feet of exhibit space, and the collection of
artifacts now has reached almost 63,000 pieces with more items added weekly. More exhibits
opened including the Wildlife Adventure Room, Rotary ATHENA Recipients, Wava’s Wonderlab,
Junior Achievement and the Business Hall of Fame, as well as popular programs continued as
Breakfast with Santa, Storytime, Strings performing, Dairy Day, Museum Car Show, Heritage
Days with 4th Graders, Teddy Bear Tea, Archaeology Day, Harvest Day, Veterans Day, Spooky
Streets and the Festival of Trees.
The DCM staff continues to consist of volunteers who give of their time and offer a variety of
talents to aid in our museum’s operations.

The logo adopted by the museum in 2019 reflects a portion of the museum’s many features.
The silhouettes surrounding the circle begin with a buffalo that roamed along the Buffalo Trace
early pioneer trail into the area; followed by a polar bear that is part of the Frank Fromme
animal collection that is now housed at the museum; a barn, silo, farm wagon and corn stalks
the alludes to the vast collection of antique farm equipment on display at the museum; a
complete log home; the one room schoolhouse and the Lewis and Clark keel boat that are
features in the Children’s Little Pioneer interactive area; and the model train on train tracks
that invites all into the Train Room. The Model Train Club maintains the Train Room. The logo
was designed by Courtney (Knies) Foster.

Recent improvements have seen roofs replaced on the buildings, a gleaming new coat of paint,
new exit doors and a community gathering to paint an outside mural. Coming in March 2024, a temporary exhibit (displayed till November) is called “Beauty Shops and Barber Shops”
showcasing many items from the long history of that industry. And a long awaited new exhibit
called “Dubois County Wood Factories and Industry” will showcase the long history of
woodworking in the county. Look for its grand opening in April. All these improvements and
exhibits were made possible through donations to fundraising requests and local grants. The
woodworking exhibit is being made possible by community business donations.
The DCM continues to be a non-profit organization committed to the collection, preservation
and interpretation of historical artifacts and information important to the citizens of the
county. Museum operations continue to be funded by annual memberships, admission fees,
donations, building space rentals, fundraisers and gifts from visitors, area residents and

Recent touring groups were in awe of the museum and could not stop talking about their visit.
They were especially surprised at the vastness of the size, the richness and depth of the
displays and the exceptional quality of presentation.

The Museum welcomes the membership to the annual membership dinner on Thursday,
January 25, 2024 at the museum. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for fellowship. A cash bar will
be available. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. The meal is prepared by Arnie’s (Welp)
Catering of St. Anthony. Following the meal a short meeting will be held. Guest speaker for the
evening will be Dr. Michael Strezewski, an Associate Professor from the University of Southern
Indiana. He will give an archaeological history of the Harmonist Tavern. Cost of the meal is
$25.00 a person. Reservations are required and will be taken until January 19, 2024. A special
reservation form was included in the information packet mailed to members. If you have any
questions, contact Stacy at the museum at 812-634-7733.