April 23, 2015 – Rotarian Kay Mentrikoski chaired the program this week and invited Gary & Johanna Naus to our meeting. Both Gary and Johanna are very active in the Berwick Historical Society. Gary is the treasurer and Johanna is the Jackson Mansion Coordinator. Johanna did most of the speaking and gave us all quite a bit of information pertaining to the history of the mansion as well as the current activities of the group.
The society itself was organized when a group of individuals gathered on January 8, 1938. They decided to list objectives and issue a mission statement which basically was to gather and preserve articles and history which pertained to Berwick. The society met for many years at the old Market St. School, which is now the site of the McBride Memorial Library and later in the 100 block of E. Second St. in Berwick. In 2010, the group and their artifacts moved into the carriage house at the Jackson Mansion. The new location houses an office, museum, library and genealogy room. There are many recourses available for anyone looking for history facts. There are old obituaries, old yearbooks, history books, artifacts, etc.
The Jackson Carriage House Museum is open on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 11am – 4pm.
Much of the mansion has been restored to its beautiful, original condition, thanks to donations and sponsorships. The first room completed was Jane’s room. Jane was Col. Jackson’s daughter. The second room completed was the family dining room. The dining room renovation was made possible by the Berwick Hospital Gift Shop committee. When the gift shop closed, the members decided to donate their remaining funds to the society. As of today, all of the first floor rooms have been completed using only donations and sponsorships. Many of the upstairs room are complete as well. It is truly an amazing home and the society has done a wonderful job at completing the work and paying attention to details. Luckily, Col. Jackson had photographs taken, which are in the possession of the society, and used for reference.
There are opportunities for everyone to be a part of the restoration. The society has a long list of sponsors who have donated items and money toward the decoration of the home. If you would wish to donate and become a sponsor, I’m sure Johanna would take your call and Gary would deposit your check. The Jackson Mansion is available to tour on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. There is a fee to tour, but if you join as a member, there is a discount. One of the most beautiful times to visit the mansion is early December during Victorian Nights. The home is open for a candlelight tour and decorated for the holidays as it would have been at the turn of the last century. It is truly impressive.
Jackson Mansion 2015
Thank you to Gary and Johanna for their involvement with the Berwick Historical Society and dedication toward the preservation of the Jackson Mansion. Also thanks to Kay for arranging a very interesting program.