Garfield County Museum
Located at 737 H Street 1/2 Block East of the Post Office
The Garfield County Historical Society was organized March 11, 1965 and one of its major goals was to establish a museum.
In 1969, Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord Wallace bought the building that housed Dr. Cram's Hospital and generously donated it to the Society for the museum.
The building (built in 1905) was originally a residence, but later became the old Christian Church (which had been across the street) parsonage. During that time several marriages were performed there.
Dr. Roy S. Cram purchased the property and building in 1935 and opened a four bed hospital. It was later remodeled and enlarged to ten beds and included an operating room, emergency room, laboratory, x-ray and nursery. He operated it until 1941, when due to the shortage or nurses and help, he closed the doors and enlisted in the Army Medical Corp., where he spent 20 months overseas. Following the wars end and with Dr. Cram's return to Burwell, it was evident that a hospital was needed if a doctor was to remain in Burwell. Dr. Cram's hospital was reopened in 1946 with intern director of nurses, Ardeth (Alloway) Kusek as the nurse until Gladys Jarvis could take over. Plans were then made to build a new modern facility and the new hospital was built and dedicated on July 19, 1952. Dr. Cram sold the building to Mrs. Dora Coleman, who had run a nursing home in her own home in the west part of town for many years. Mrs. Coleman was able to keep this new facility fully occupied and in full operation for many years.
When the Historical Society took it over it was vacant for three years and was in desperate need of repair and cleaning and at the time some changes were made. Many individuals and organizations responded enthusiastically and helped to make the building presentable. After collecting and cataloging many items, the museum was ready for visitors and was dedicated on July 9, 1972.
A sampling of some of the 25 rooms are:
LIBRARY: This room has biographies, many old interesting pictures and histories including that of Doc Middleton, Amos Harris and Happy Jack Swearenger.
SURGERY ROOM: This room was originally the operating room and has pictures on the wall of the doctors and dentists who have practiced in the county, plus some of the crude instruments used by those past doctors. One hundred photographs of babies who were born in the hospital are on display.
COWBOY / INDIAN ROOM: Handmade pottery, arrowheads found in this area and other articles used by the Indians are displayed here. A large assortment of rodeo paraphernalia can be found in this room.
MILITARY / FENNER ROOM: Mr. Fenner was in the American Red Cross in World Wars I and II and returned with many souvenirs, including tiles from Hitler and Goering's homes. Uniforms from different service and wars are on display.
PARLOR: The room in which the family gathered only on Sundays with the beautiful old organ, a Gramophone, the fainting couch and many beautiful wedding dresses.
BEDROOM: The old wardrobe, handmade dresser, old time bed, the old cradle and several pieces of handiwork.
SEWING ROOM: A collection of varied handicrafts including tatting, knitting, pulled work embroidery, etc., many of which have become a lost art. A pump sewing machine and Victorian dress form are on display.
SOD HOUSE KITCHEN: An important room in any home is the kitchen. We see the old pitcher pump, the stove pipe oven, butter churn, etc.
COUNTRY SCHOOL ROOM: Old time desks, dinner buckets, and slates bring back memories of childhood days.
BUTTER FACTORY DISPLAY / 40'S KITCHEN: The testing equipment, cream separators, egg cases and cream cans were the equipment that people depended on for a big share of their livelihood. The 40's kitchen was in existence at the time of the hospital, complete with a dumb waiter.
TOOL ROOM: A variety of tools, odds and ends including a two-headed calf exhibit.
4-H EXHIBITS: Young folks accomplishments.
DOLL ROOM: Gladys (Lindsey) Johnson Collection.
CHURCH ROOM: Something of interest from almost every church in the county.
PORCH: Some Hugo Show memorabilia and a display of nature exhibits.
LIVING ROOM: This room was the reception room of the hospital and now contains a large piano and an organ, paintings by local artists and large display of antique china and glass.
Throughout the building there are many more items of interest.