Cape River Heritage Museum celebrates 25th anniversary with Twain impersonator

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A recent celebration at the Cape River Heritage Museum honored the Cape Girardeau bicentennial, the museum's 25th anniversary, past board members and city officials.

Special guest Jack Beahan III of Bonne Terre, Mo., impersonated Mark Twain. Museum director Marge Thompson impersonated Becky Thatcher.

Present board members Margaret Ford, Beverly Hahs, Dr. John Holcomb, Pat McKee and Duane Foster were introduced.

Thompson opened with a few remarks, Beahan followed with entertainment and Mayor Jay Knudtson spoke on the museum's accomplishments.

Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau director Chuck Martin discussed the museum's contribution to tourism; CVB receptionist Anita Meinz was in attendance.

J. Ronald Fischer, city manager for 25 years, gave his account of the obstacles and decisions made during the time of the museum's inception.

Guests from the university were presented by Dr. Frank Nickell of the Center for Regional History, and museum director Dr. Stanley Grand.

Kim McDowell received recognition for care of the museum pond and garden at the rear of the building.

Chief Paul White Eagle was introduced and recognized for his annual American Indian displays in the Lorimier Room.

First museum president Larry Haertling and former directors Patty Mulkey and Dale Smith were recognized. A memorial including names of deceased past board members was on display. Other charter members introduced were Martha Bender, Walt Pierce and Bob White. White's university classes were instrumental in assisting in past exhibits.

Charter member Wendy Rust, unable to attend, was represented by her son, Rex Rust.

Danny Back of Patriot, Ind., who was president from 1994 to 1995, traveled the longest distance. Back was responsible for the pilot house built in the museum's River Room.

Other past board members included Donald Kraft and Mark Farmer.

Also in attendance were Jane Randol Jackson, Red House Interpretive Center director; and Delilah Tayloe, Arts Council director.

Dr. Dale Foster was the event photographer; his wife, Diane provided the centerpiece for the refreshment table.

Notecards and pens were given to anniversary guests as tokens of appreciation.

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