DCHS evaluates how to incorporate Fairlawn artifactsWith a June 1 deadline to remove its collection from Fairlawn Mansion, the Douglas County Historical Society hasn’t had much time to think about what it would do with those artifacts it retained after reaching a deal with the city for the sale of most of its collection at Fairlawn.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
With a June 1 deadline to remove its collection from Fairlawn Mansion, the Douglas County Historical Society hasn’t had much time to think about what it would do with those artifacts it retained after reaching a deal with the city for the sale of most of its collection at Fairlawn.
DCHS President Valerie Burke said the volunteer-driven organization is still evaluating those items and hasn’t made any decisions about what it would do with the collection it retained after they finished moving about 300 pieces out of the mansion last week.
“Things kind of came at us pretty fast because we signed the contract with the city in early May and the city said they wanted everything out of the mansion by June 1,” Burke said. While volunteers moved many of the items, the organization hired A-1 Movers last week to remove the larger pieces of the collection it retained after the city purchased most of it.
“We need to step back and reassess,” Burke said. She said there are condition issues with some of the collection and some of the items went straight to the landfill. Other pieces need to be evaluated to determine their condition.
Like most people’s homes, Burke said, it’s the good items that are on display and the stuff that’s not in good condition that ends up in the basement, where many of the items were stored.
Items like the pump organ that once belonged to a church just didn’t fit with the mansion, said Superior Public Museums Director Susan Anderson.
Burke said the organ, which was stored in a room not of the Fairlawn tour, is currently in the organization’s basement at DCHS headquarters, 1101 John Ave.
“I’m presuming, especially the nice things that were on display, we’ll assimilate into our collection,” Burke said. “Some of the pieces are going to be permanently on display in our foyer. Other pieces will be brought up from the basement as it calls for in an exhibit.”
Burke said after years spent seeking resolution to the disposition of the historical society’s collection, the city and organization have reached a win-win solution.
“It needed to happen,” she said. “We needed to put it behind … needed to move on.”