History on display during Fall Fest

Wykoff Mayor Al Williams stands with the Wykoff school bell, recently donated to the city and the Wykoff Area Historical Society by the Kingsland School District when the Wykoff school building was decommissioned. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
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Have a historical time at Fall Fest.

Ed’s Museum, Ed Krueger’s little Jack Sprat grocery store and the apartment above, along with the Wykoff School Museum, annexed to the grocery’s south, will be open from noon until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, during Wykoff’s Fall Fest.

The Wykoff Area Historical Society will also be selling ice cream at the Fire Hall after the parade on Saturday and breakfast at the Community Center from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday, according to society member Shirl Boelter.       

Ed and his wife, Lydia, owned the store for quite some time, and that’s where their son, Freddy, grew up, and it’s where generations of children stopped in for candy from under the glass display cases and mothers went to get the family’s groceries.  When Ed determined that he could no longer keep the store open, he decided that not much would change – he left everything on the shelves, from canned goods to the perfectly-preserved “banana spider,” or tarantula, that he found in a case of bananas and the petrified, shoebox-encased remains of his cat, Sam.  That means that touring Ed’s is a delight, according to Boelter. 

“It’s fun because Ed’s Museum has the upstairs living quarters with the original furniture the couple purchased, Freddy’s toys, and clothes.  The grocery store has the can of corn with the glass top, movie pictures and the player piano,” she said.

Alumni of Wykoff’s public school system may find their photographs safely tucked away in Wykat yearbooks or on display in a large catalog of frames in the school museum. As a recent development, the Kingsland School District donated the school bell that hung outside the Wykoff school building to the city and WAHS.

The society has kept busy over the year with projects to promote the preservation of history, including the ongoing well-being of the Krueger family’s history and that of the local jail, now a bed and breakfast operated between the months of April and November by the society. Society members recently finished the landscaping at the Jail Haus.

Ed’s little grocery store has a bit of a lean to it, so the volunteers hope to straighten his shop and abode a bit, but Boelter cited that the Historical Society is still working on obtaining grants to deal with the structural concerns at Ed’s Museum.

“We (Wykoff Area Historical Society) have 25 volunteers, but we need more help with fundraisers and finding tour guides for the museum,” said Boelter. “We always need volunteers.”

Interested people should contact board members Carolyn Baker Meyer, Sally Affeldt, Mary Sackett, Maggie Ramaker, Jeff Erding, Lori Weisinger or Boelter. 

“If someone wants to join, they’ll enjoy the connection to the town you grew up in and went to school, and being part of the effort to keep the great memories Wykoff gave to the many who lived, worked and went to school in Wykoff, and also sharing Ed’s treasures and learning more about the history of Wykoff,” said Boelter. “Right now, we are in need of volunteers to be tour guides for Ed’s.”    

Fundraising encompasses Christmas house tours – though last year, the society held a breakfast and tour of trees at the Community Center – and offering dessert at the Fall Fest burger nights held to garner funds for the Fall Fest celebration. The Christmas house tours this year will be on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 1 to 4 p.m. The annual Christmas concert will be on Sunday, Dec. 2, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wykoff.  Elliott Grandall will be directing the concert again this year. 

The society will be selling ice cream when burger nights begin in October. Boelter also noted that the society is still looking for homes for the Christmas house tour.

Boelter encouraged anyone who’s home for Fall Fest to stop in at Ed’s Museum, just south of the uptown businesses, and have a chat with the guides, hear the player piano and peruse Ed’s movie star photograph collection, and anyone who’s interested in joining WAHS to consider doing so – to get historical and tell Wykoff’s stories.