POW camp, museum the focus of Memorial Day weekend

Staff writer

Peabody Historical Society plans a dual program the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a tour through the newly re-organized Peabody Print Museum. Wesley Bentz and his helpers will offer a look at the workings of an early day print shop or newspaper office.

Organizers plan for visitors to see a headline edition of the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin coming off the presses on the day in 1945 when World War II ended. Tentative plans call for a copy of the historic announcement to be in the hands of every visitor who tours the print museum.

A second tour will start at 11:30 a.m.

Later in the day, a new display of German prisoner of war memorabilia, photographs, and correspondence will be on exhibit in the building that housed them in Peabody in the 1940s. Although the former Eyestone building has changed a great deal since those days and now houses a manufacturing business, portions will be open for the public to see.

Narratives by residents who remember their families’ interaction with the prisoners or who remember the prisoners being housed in Peabody will accompany a display of P.O.W. memorabilia.

Several items made by prisoners and recently donated to the Peabody Museum will be displayed as well as previously unseen photographs of prisoners and the camp staff.

The program at the Eyestone building will begin at 1 p.m. and last for about an hour.

Between the two events, guests can enjoy lunch in the small park north of Peabody State Bank. Peabody Historical Society will be serving a picnic style meal of fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, pasta salad, homemade bread, and dessert from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In addition, the other buildings in the museum complex will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day — the Morgan House and barn, Carnegie Library, and Peabody Museum. There is no charge for either tour or entry into any building in the museum complex.

Watch for additional updates to the Memorial Day weekend event. For more information, contact Marilyn Jones at (620) 983-2815 or Carmen South at (620) 983-2152.

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