Nelson Pioneer Farm Issues Community Challenge as Part of Exhibit Renovation Campaign

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Oskaloosa – Something new is coming to the Nelson Pioneer Farm & Museum. The Mahaska County Historical Society is currently fundraising for a massive exhibit renovation in the main museum building. The entire lower level that once displayed dolls, toys, and various historic room set ups is being transformed into two new exhibits. “A Legacy of Patriotism and Service” showcases Mahaska County’s veterans and military service since the county’s founding in 1844 to present. The artifacts and stories highlighted feature local residents who were involved in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and more recent conflicts in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq. “In addition to our robust collection of Civil War, WWI, and WWII artifacts, we are actively collecting documents, artifacts, and stories from veterans and active service personnel about more recent conflicts,” explains Director/Curator Margaret Spiegel. “Also featured in this exhibit is an interactive database of information about our veterans. Family members or veterans can submit a questionnaire to include basic information about their/their loved one’s service. We are very excited to have this element in the exhibit so it can continue to grow.”

“Weaving Creativity” is the second exhibit that features the skills and creativity of residents in the production of textile items. The tools used and the products made, including clothing and fashion items, home décor, and quilts will be displayed. Both exhibits are scheduled to open at the season opening 2024.

The Community Challenge fundraiser is raising $10,000 to preserve the priceless archival documents and artifacts from the Historical Society’s military collection. Many of these items will be displayed or scanned to be included with the new exhibit. Spiegel explains, “Our county has a strong connection with military service. We would like to challenge everyone to donate $5 in memory or honor of a service member who they know. That donation will help us towards our goal and your name will be included on our donor wall in the exhibit. We want all of Mahaska County to feel connected with the stories we are including and we’d love to see everyone’s name on that donor wall!” The Community Challenge runs from Memorial Day to Veterans Day 2023.


There is detailed information about the fundraising and sketches of the project available for viewing in the museum building at the Nelson Pioneer Farm and on their website at All questions may also be directed to Spiegel by calling 641-672-2989.

Posted by on Jun 6 2023. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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