Amanda Weisbrod

Moms, their families and wanderers alike can check out the progress on Elgin’s newest attraction this Mother’s Day.

The Elgin Museum is opening its doors to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday in hopes of catching visitors who are in town for the Eagle Cap Excursion Train’s Mother’s Day Brunch ride, which offers scenery of the surrounding area and a meal prepared by Chuck Wagon Sisters Catering of Joseph. The museum will provide lemonade and cookies to anyone who stops by, and roses will be passed out to the first 24 moms who arrive.

Everett Grandeen, vice president of the Elgin Museum and Historical Society, said the museum board decided to show its displays before its official grand opening date of June 15 in order to give people a place to relax before or after the excursion train event.

“We have more stuff to put out and more stuff that’s coming in, but we wanted to be open because the train is running that day and people will be wandering around town,” he said. “We thought we’d better take advantage of that for Mother’s Day.”

The new museum, located in the old city hall building, features historical artifacts ranging from the turn of the century to present-day, including uniforms from the Elgin Fire Department, Police Department, Elgin High School Marching Band, and Stampeders as well as articles of clothing from the World War I and World War II eras, according to Grandeen.

“The Stampeders had riding teams back then, and they all wore the green and white chaps, but they don’t do that anymore,” he said, adding while the displays are all “preliminary” now, they will be completed before the June 15 opening date.

Grandeen also mentioned there are numerous photographs — some dating back to the late 1800s — featuring aspects of Elgin businesses, logging and agriculture that need to be identified.

“We have a lot of photographs from the old museum, and we don’t have any master sheet, so we’re going to ask for help,” he said. “This weekend there will be a lot of people from out of town, but we’ll take whatever (information) we can get.”

See complete story in Wednesday's Observer