Champ Clark historic home open for tours again
Bowling Green High School graduate Claire Graver received the $500 Speaker’s Award during the opening day ceremonies for the Honey Shuck house, the historic home of Champ Clark and his family.
The Speaker’s Award is presented to a Bowling Green High School graduate, based on achievement, leadership and a desire to pursue law, political science, or related field. Students are selected by school staff.
Claire said she plans on majoring in education at Columbia College. She wants to be an elementary school teacher, and to someday return to Bowling Green to teach.
Her mom, Susan Graver, said Claire studied hard.
“We are very proud of her,” Susan added.
Larry Twellman, a member of the Honey Shuck board, welcomed the Graver family to Clark’s former home. He also thanked the other board members and the member of the Louisiana Area Historical Museum for attending the day’s ceremonies.
One of the big challenges the board has this year, Twellman said, is fixing the railings on the house and getting the exterior repainted.
“We’re glad to be able to have the house open again,” he said. “We’re going to be arranging for tours, or if someone wants to contact us for tours, we’re ready and willing to give tours to people who are interested in seeing the inside of the house.”
Honey Shuck board treasurer Bob Kirkpatrick said there were four excellent candidates for the award this year.
“We chose Claire because she presents herself well … and on her application she had a lot of things that struck a chord with the selection committee,” Kirkpatrick said. He handed her a certificate that she can use once she has completed her first semester in college.
Clair said she’s lived in Bowling Green her entire life.
“I’ve loved it here. I’ve participated in a lot of clubs,” she added. Clair said she looked forward to everyday when she participated in the A+ program.
“I couldn’t wait to go down there. I loved the little kids,” she said. “I’ve never wanted an office job. I always wanted to be around people, because I’m very social. And I wanted something where I knew I was impacting lives.” Being around the children and seeing their excitement when they were learning made all the difference to her.
Kirkpatrick, who is also on the Bowling Green R-I school board, said it’s wonderful to have young people, such as Claire, going into education.
“And I noticed on her application that she was interested in coming back to Pike County to work,” he said. “I would encourage that,” he added.
The award, named after Speaker of the House Champ Clark, is made possible through the Schewe Fund, established by Eleanor Schewe. Dr. Schewe, a 1941 Washington University graduate, who earned a PhD in biology from Bryn Mawr College, recently passed away at the age of 99. Schewe was raised in Vandalia and graduated from Vandalia High School and had lived in Vandalia since 1960.
Louisiana Area Historical Museum Board President Judy Schmidt also thanked the Honey Shuck board for a donation to the museum.
“We very much appreciate the donation,” Schmidt said. “We feel like we can preserve the history of Pike County because we are the Louisiana Area Historical Museum. We have many new exhibits that have come in during the time we were closed.”
She noted that the donated funds would be used to open the museum’s second floor so they could expand their displays and bring out of storage some of the exhibits that they didn’t have room for before.
“We want to be a big part of getting Louisiana and Pike County going again,” she added.
Karen Arico, who is also on the Honey Shuck board, said there were funds left over from the commission’s work in putting up a display in the Pike County Courthouse. Those funds were presented to the Louisiana Area Historical Museum and the Champ Clark Historical House.
“We could think of no better place to use these funds,” Arico said.