Historical Painting escapes
By Andy Philpot, Editor of THE MENA STAR.
With the intense damage suffered by the Polk County Library during a direct hit from the tornado, a reopen date is still undetermined, but there have been a majority of the items spared that were in the damaged wing of the building.
Among the items that went undamaged included the classic painting of “Amsterdam Cupids”, which was originally painted in 1896 by H.A. Pothast.
The painting was sent to Mena in October 1896 by Mrs. Mina DeGoeijen to show her appreciation for having the town named after her. The painting arrived to the area in 1897, and has been displayed in the Polk County Libaray for many years.
The painting, which was restored in 2002, escaped disaster, and will continue to be displayed in the library once it is reopened.
With the portion of the roof that collapsed in, along with insulation and glass, the wing of the library was a disaster, resulting in a loss of an aged original card catalog and the carpeting.
After a clean-up crew consisting of 16 members spent three days tending to the mess, the total loss of library items was considerably low. After the rows and rows of books had been evaluated, it resulted in approximately 30-40, filling two boxes that were considered a loss.
Considering the amount of damage and debris within that wing of the building, the count on book loss could have been much higher.
Other areas of concern that did not suffer significant damage or loss were the microfilm machines, as well as the genealogy equipment.
The library remains closed until further notice, while the drop box will continue to be available to return checked out books.
MASONS PLANNING TO REBUILD
Published in The
LeAnn Dilbeck has graciously given her permission to reprint articles concerning History and Genealogy.
The April 9 tornado that took so much from Mena and
surrounding areas also destroyed the Masonic Lodge on Hamilton and Reine
Streets, which represents one of the oldest organizations in
On October 1858, a group of men met in the town of
In August of 1896 the first passenger train came to the
new tent town that had been named Mena located a few miles north of the county
The lodge remained at the
During the last 30 years the membership of Dallas Lodge as well as Masonry in general has been declining. But during the last few years there has been a resurgence of interest at least at Dallas Lodge and again it has a group of new Master Masons to carry this ancient order into the future.
“Sadly on April 9, 2009 the Lodge Hall at Hamilton and
Reine streets was destroyed during the meeting of the Order of the Eastern Star
by an EF3 tornado causing the loss of one life and several injuries.” Turner said, “This leaves only the memories
of the building that we all were so proud of in 1963 when it was built. But the organization plans to rebuild and
donations for the Reconstruction of the