Peggy points to self

Peggy Branstetter points to herself in the photo. She was just 8-years-old when the photo was taken back in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Peggy, whose last name was Harvey then, could name 21 of the children in the photo. She was the first constant of the day at the Louisiana Area Historical Society Museum. Photo by Stan Schwartz

Historical photo contest peaks interest

LOUISIANA—A photo from the late 1930s, early 1940s, shows close to 40 children from the Louisiana area participating in a Tom Thumb Wedding. The Louisiana Area Historical Society Museum board wanted to know the names of the children in that photo.

They held a contest with a $25 gift card for gasoline as the prize to whomever could name the most children. On Saturday, Peggy Branstetter came through the door ready to win. She said she could name at least 21 of the children with certainty. It helped, of course, that she was one of the children in the photo. She pointed to herself in the back row, noting that she was just 8-years old at the time the photo was taken. She remembered names and a lot about the lives of the children in the photo. Back then she was still Peggy Harvey. She was the first entry for the contest that day.

Winner of the photo contest, said Judy Schmidt, would be announced on July 4.

“I’m glad you got that many,” she said to Branstetter.

Entries may be made in person or mailed to the museum at 304 Georgia St., Louisiana, MO 63353. The deadline is June 24. 

Noted historian Brent Engle was on hand for the Museum’s opening. He said that on Friday, July 2 there would be an unveiling during an invitation-only event at the museum.

“I’m not going to say what it is,” he added because he didn’t want to get kicked off the museum board. “Then there will be another unveiling on Aug. 7., in advance of statehood day.”

Engle said that all the exhibits had been taken out cleaned and rearranged by Angie Ince, he noted. The building was filled with memorabilia from the town’s history.

The upstairs area of the museum is currently off limits to the public. Engle said they are working to renovate the space for additional displays.

There’s even a room dedicated to Stark Bros. The company is more than 200 years old and predates Missouri’s statehood.

“It’s fantastic the amount of history in here” he said.

There are 13 people on the museum board, Schmidt said. Hours are Saturdays only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. That may change once they are out of COVID restrictions, she said.

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