- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

OHTO, Iowa (AP) - The Webster County Museum in Otho is considering putting some items in storage to better preserve them after recent heavy rainfall seeped through the building’s leaky roof and saturated a few antique displays.

The museum keeps military items and vintage clothing, along with displays that provide information on the county’s mining past, The Messenger (https://bit.ly/1E6GZU8 ) reported.

Volunteers managed to save most displays and covered them with plastic sheets, but museum curator Phyllis Stewart said discussions are ongoing about putting some in storage. Stewart said the building’s roof already was in need of repairs, but the 9 inches of rain that fell in Otho on Aug. 9 and Aug. 10 “just did us in.”

Volunteers say the museum, which is housed in a former elementary school building, needs a new home since there likely will be more rainfall and snow in the future.

“Our biggest need is a new building,” volunteer Joe Perry said. “The cost-effectiveness is not there for the roof. The rain doesn’t stop. The problem is not going away.”

The museum has been in the former school building since August 2003, and also features items from Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls, holds antique medical items from Fort Dodge’s past and houses a 1910 organ from the Princess Theater in Mount Ayr.

Visitors this year have come from 26 other states and two foreign countries. Admission is free and all collection items are donated.

“If you don’t know about us, come down and see what we’ve got,” Stewart said. “Help us save the history of the county.”

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Information from: The Messenger, https://www.messengernews.net

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