Lawrence County Museum of History

Lawrence County Museum of History & Edward L. Hutton Research Library

The Buck Lemon store 

The Buck Lemon store 

Creating a museum

In 2001, renovations began on the Hamer-Smith building. The intensive work to redo the wiring, replace the floors and ceilings, install heating and air system, replace windows, add museum quality lighting, restore the original façade, and create an attractive entrance at the north end of the building happened in a three phase process and took the greater part of four years. To pay for these renovations the LCHGS raised money through fund drives and fundraisers such as a bingo night and the "Lemon Drop Auction." Named after the "dropping" of the Buck "Lemon" sign from the building, the auction raised $8,750 for the building fund. The museum also received two grants and a generous donation from Bedford native Edward L. Hutton. Hutton explained his generosity to the Times-Mail by saying, "I have a farmer's attitude, I'm putting something back into the soil."

In October 2005 the museum's 12,000 square foot new home officially opened its doors after employees and droves of volunteers completed the relocation of the over 1000 artifacts and entire genealogy library. A year later, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana recognized the museum's restoration work with the Historic Preservation Award. Historic Landmarks director Greg Sekula explained the reason for the award to the Times-Mail:

Moving day

Moving day

"The structures' main façades were obscured by an immense sign. The restoration removed the visual blight and revealed the handsome architecture of the 1908 structure that had been hidden behind the sign. [The award winners] demonstrate that with vision and perseverance, just about any building can be saved. [We] appreciate their excellent restoration of our architectural heritage." [1]

Historic preservation award

Historic preservation award

The Hamer-Smith building celebrated its 100th birthday in 2008. The building continues to offer Bedford a handsome addition to the downtown square area and will hopefully welcome many more visitors as its extraordinary history continues to grow.

Stop in anytime during our hours of operation and see this beautiful building!

 

[1] Times Mail Article by Diana Wires

 

929 15th Street, Bedford, IN 47421  |  (812) 278-8575  |  lchgs@hpcisp.com | Tues-Fri: 9-4, Sat: 9-3