Tucked away behind Emmon’s School at 1402 South Main Street, Mishawaka is a small gem of a museum. In fact, The Hannah Lindahl Museum was designated as The Hidden Treasure of St. Joseph County by the Convention and Visitors Bureau of South Bend/Mishawaka in 1993.
The initial idea for the museum came from Mrs. Carol (Samuel) Eberhart Hillier of Mishawaka who then approached the School City of Mishawaka administrative staff for guidance in gaining support for the project. Mrs. Hillier and Miss Hannah M. Lindahl, Elementary Supervisor of the School City of Mishawaka, were able to convince the School City of the value of a children’s museum to enhance the education of the children of Mishawaka.
The first meeting of a museum committee was held on January 30, 1946. Begun with the idea that this museum would be a children’s hands-on museum with artifacts representing Mishawaka history, it has expanded to include materials that are available to genealogists searching for people in this area.
An example of what you will find at the museum includes the Mishawaka Public School Records beginning with the year 1887 and continuing through 1914. Along this same line is the interesting collection of group photos of the class of 1920 of Mishawaka High School . This class gathered together more frequently than every five or ten years, and the museum has a relatively complete record of these members, photographs and addresses through 1960. Also in this same time frame are copies of the Red Ball, a magazine put out by the Ball Band Company with information in each issue about the employees of the company. This collection begins with issues from 1947 and continues through 1965.
From World War II there is a list of members of the Gold Star Mothers’ organization. And to help you find the location of a local land owner in 1875 there is a plat map of the area. The museum also has a 1911 map as well as an atlas of St. Joseph County of 1942.
Currently Peggy Marker, Director of the museum and her volunteer helper, Lucy Minnix, have been devoting time to entering records into their computer system and to developing an inventory data base. This is in addition to as many as 300 tours that Peggy conducts in a year’s time. Because the staff is limited they are not able to carry out research requests. If there is something that you would like to look into, contact the museum and a time can be set up for you to look at the requested files.
While you are there take time to go through the history of St. Joseph County and Mishawaka by moving through the exhibits. If you are writing your family’s history the many artifacts of everyday living of times past will enrich your telling of the story. Stand under the canvas top of the covered wagon and it’s easy to imagine a family traveling with their goods to a new homestead.
The museum hours throughout the school year are Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the first and second Saturday of each month. They are closed during the noon hours and whenever school is not in session in the School City of Mishawaka. The admission charge is $1.00 for visitors 6 years and up, and 50 cents for visitors 2 – 5 years.
They can be reached by phone or e-mail to email@example.com. The museum has a WebSite at http://www.hlcm.org which provides information about their exhibits. My thanks to Peggy Marker and Lucy for providing me some of their time.
The Hannah Lindahl Museum – Emmons School
1402 S. Main St.
Mishawaka, IN 46544
Hours: Tuesday thru Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the 1st. & 2nd. Saturday of each month. Closed during the noon hours and whenever school is not in session.