KALIDA – Artwork by Nora Basinger, including the faces of mannequins, were on display at the Putnam County Historical Museum in Kalida during Pioneer Days. Basinger, who served as the museum’s registrar for 28 years, was honored during the annual meeting of the Putnam County Historical Society on Saturday.

Remembering their mother were John Basinger and Virginia “Ginnie” Leis. Basinger said his mother was the ‘salt of the earth’ as salt is used to preserve things and his mother was always interested in preserving things.

“This was home for my mother,” Mrs. Leis said of the museum, describing her mother as a storyteller, keeper of dreams, and writer. She described the time Basinger worked at the museum as “a chapter of her life that was a blessing.”

Basinger passed away on June 16, 2019. A stone in her honor has been donated by the Putnam County Historical Society.

The Society also donated a brick in honor of Tom Verhoff, who cares for the lawns at the museum.

The speaker for the annual meeting was Ruth Wilhelm. She spoke on where the names came from for some of our Putnam County towns, current and abandoned, townships and creeks. Wilhelm is the head of the local history and genealogy department at the Putnam County District Library. Included in her presentation were towns such as Belmore and Pandora, who changed their names several times.

Society President Millie Ruen gave an update on activities at the museum. She pointed out the ongoing progress of developing various shops and rooms in the annex. Ruen also said the planned military room in the Ramp Room between the museum and the house is progressing with painting completed recently in the room. During the Curator’s report by Carol Wise it was shown that donations made it possible for the repair of three stained glass windows in the museum. Girl Scout member Gwen Miller-Martz also spoke briefly about her Gold Award project to add self-guided tours of the museum using iPhone and notebooks. The tours will use QR codes to connect patrons to videos about the exhibits.

On Sunday the Historical Society held a chicken barbeque to raise funds for the museum.