History Connector - L. Haas Museum
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L. Haas Museum
Carmi, IL

The L. Haas building houses the eclectic collection of the White County Historical Society and Cindy Conley provided a guided tour for InFocus in a recent visit. Click to watch now

The building was built in 1896 by George Mesker Company. Through the years, the building has featured a variety of occupying businesses, but it was originally home to the "Bankrupt Store," which sold items ranging from clothing to food. Erin Haas later ran the store from 1921 until 1950, and his wife managed the store until the late 60's.

After the Haas family closed their business, the building was occupied by a fabric store, a hardware store, and an office supply store before closing. In 1992 the White County History Society bought the building to display its collections. Some of the items showcased in the building are antique fountains, carriages, guns, military items, children's toys, medical equipment, and vintage office equipment. There are also many Native American artifacts including arrowheads, pipes, points, axes, tools, as well as a rare dug out canoe.

The museum features some unusual artifacts from Phil Hannah who was known as the "sympathetic hangman." Hannah hanged to death scores of people including the infamous gangster Charlie Birger. The museum has artifacts including death hoods, a trap door for hanging, and a newspaper scrapbook collection of hangings kept until the 1930's. The White County Historical Society hope to convert the upstairs floor of the building into an exhibition area for showcasing more traveling exhibits.

For more information about the White County Historical Society visit: http://www.state.il.us/hpa/iam/DirectoryMasterU-Z.html

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