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Newspaper Clippings for
September, 2002

from the Daily Herald newspaper 09 August 2002
Museum damaged in crash still under repair
by Kate Grusich Daily Herald Staff Writer
It will be at least another month before visitors can stroll through one of Lake County's oldest buildings and peruse the antiques and old-fashioned heirlooms.
Nearly nine months after a car crashed into Martin's General Store Museum in Millburn, causing extensive structural and interior damage, the doors remain closed to the public and cleanup is still under way.
While volunteers had hoped to reopen earlier this summer, the process of repairing artifacts, getting appraisals and scanning inventory lists has just been too lengthy.
"It's going very poorly," said Dorothy Fettinger, chairwoman of the Historic Millburn Community Association, which owns and operates the museum. "We're a group of older people. Some have been on vacation, some have been working. We had hoped to have it all cleaned out by now, but it's just moving slowly."
The car crash occurred Dec. 4, when a motorist, apparently heading east on Grass Lake Road, crossed Route 45 and hit a corner of the building. The driver, an 18-year-old Lake Villa man, was later charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and improper lane usage. Nobody was in the store on Route 45 at the time of the crash, but the driver and a passenger were injured.
Since then, volunteers have cleaned artifacts and rearranged the showcases. Because many of the items were irreplaceable - historical artifacts donated by area families - full restoration is pretty much impossible. Yet, volunteers are optimistic they can make the museum better than ever.
So far, windows blown out in the crash have been replaced, the porch has been restored, and the corner of the building hit by the car has been repaired.
Martin's General Store opened in 1887 and is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It was built in 1862 by Richard Pantall and served for years as the Millburn post office. After some time, Edward Martin, a young orphan reared by the Pantall family, took over the business. Martin's son, Richard, willed the building t the historic association in 1985, requesting it be used as a museum.
Before the crash, the museum maintained weekend hours and was open for school tours.
Fettinger said organizers hope to get the museum back up and running within the next couple of months.
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