Our Ancestors were few but our Descendants are many
Our Ancestors were few but our Descendants are many

Projects & Programs

In August 2014, Leona Newell and her family donated the building immediately west of the Historical/Visitors Center in memory of Loren Newell. Pictured below is the Newell building which was annexed and made part of the Historical Center next door. This area has over doubled the size of the Visitors center and will allow the Foundation more room for the preservation of historical pictures and small artifacts. Many people may remember this building partially as an old post office, then later a restaurant, and was once Valda Johnson's old soda shop. In the last 30+ years, Loren used it as a shop and warehouse. Even though most of the original building was in poor condition and the west 1/2 of the original building was razed, it has now been totally remodeled and sided with a new roof.

Above pictured is the two combined buildings after completion of the new roof and siding.  Pictured below is Leona Newell along with Kaylon Roberts and Jim Desbien October 25, 2014 as they celebrated the dedication of the Damar "French Quarter" Visitors Center and announcement of the gift of the building from Leona Newell to the Foundation.

Through the most generous grant of $53,500 from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, the remodeling and completion of the Newell annex has been made possible. In February 2015, the DCHF received the grant and due to the work from members and volunteers, the interior of the buildings were complete by May 23, 2015 and the exterior completed in 2016.

Pictured above left after completion of the foam insulation installed making the new addition very energy efficient. The right picture is the same wall after the knotty pine ship-lap boards were installed on the top half of the wall. The bottom portion was completed with a different product and a beautiful chair-rail will separate the two. The ceiling has been completed with a beaded ceiling board and the tile and floor covering was installed. The finished room is a beautiful place to display our history.

Below pictured is the new restroom along with a picture of the small kitchenette

The Foundation has been involved with other projects. One being what we call the Damar Sounevirs "Memories" project. This is a project where some of the CCD students from St. Joseph Church  interviewed some of the elderly citizens with Damar ancestry, and wrote about the memories from their past.  Paula Desbien was able to write and receive a $500 grant from the Heartland Community Foundation Action Fund for the project. The grant was used to assist some of the CCD students with the cost to attend the  NCYC conference in Indianapolis in November 2015.  The Memories project is an ongoing one, to encourage any descendant of Damar to write and record their biographys, memories and genealogy and will be available at the Center for all to share.  If you already have histories, genealogys or albums of your families, please contact us and we would be happy to display them.

This is just an example of how our Foundation can work with other foundations, private citizens and local groups to obtain money for projects and we hope to be able to obtain other grants for worthy causes in the future.

Want to Become a Member?

Please call us at:785-726-3540 or fill out our contact form or email us at jdesbien@gbta.net




105 Main St Box 42

Damar, 67632



 New exhibit at the French 

none at present

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