Shuttered Old Barn Museum artifacts will be displayed in other locations
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org January 21, 2013 6:10PM
A mural depicting the life of Native Americans in the Fox Valleyat one point greeted visitors to the Old Barn Museum in Newark. The mural was created by local artist Quen Carpenter. Submitted photo
Updated: February 23, 2013 6:06AM
NEWARK — The Old Barn Museum is gone, but some of its artifacts will live on in other museums.
Many of the items that were collected through the years by the Christensen family, and displayed at the Old Barn Museum in Newark, have been divided between three other area historical museums.
The Old Barn Museum closed last November after the owner willingly gave up a special use on the property that had been granted by the Kendall County Board.
The museum, formerly at 7127B Oakbrook Road in Newark, featured more than 4,000 items, most of them collected by its founder, the late Howard Christensen. Native American artifacts, early settler items, rocks, and gems were among the items on display.
The artifacts went to the Big Rock Historical Society; the Stone Mill, which houses the Sandwich Historical Society; and the Fern Dell Historic Association in Newark. All three museums are deciding how to display the items, and will make announcements when new displays are up.
The Fern Dell Museum, at 9 E. Front St., Newark, is the closest to the Old Barn Museum. It features renovated historic buildings, including the Fern Dell School, the Misner Blacksmith Shop and the former Leland Hatcher Store, which now houses a museum.
The Stone Mill at LaFayette and Railroad streets in Sandwich has been a town landmark for more than 125 years. It houses the Sandwich Historical Society and its Industrial Museum.
The Big Rock Historical Society collection is on Hinckley Road in Big Rock, right across from the library. The museum is open from 2 to 4 p.m. Sundays, and by private arrangement.
The museum’s collection includes items from the area schools, Big Rock Plowing Match memorabilia, a military section from World War I through Iraq, home items and farm items.