Our History

The Historical Society was founded in 1956 by a group of people with a strong interest in preserving the heritage and history of Chariton County. The first museum opened in the 1960s in the Lincoln School–a former segregated Black school–and then moved to what is now Peace Lutheran Church in Salisbury.  The increasing number of artifacts collected soon outgrew that space and the present museum building–the former Fellow’s Hatchery– became available in 1971.  After considerable renovation, the present museum opened to the public in the late 1970s.  The museum actually encompasses four adjoining buildings all built prior to 1893. Below is a look at the history of each of the four buildings.

Library & Veterans RoomLaundry Ironing & Dry Clean with wash room behindWarehouse Millinery & Grocery StoreStorage Building (16')
Little Dixie RoomProduceProduceBlacksmith Shop & Wagon ShopBlacksmith Shop (15')
Hutchinson Tool RoomProduceProduceHarness ShopCarriage Repository (15')
Main Street RoomNew & 2nd Hand Grocery Store with IOOF hall in upstairsVacant with IOOF hall in upstairs Dry Goods & Grocery store with IOOF hall in upstairsFurniture with IOOF hall in upstairs

The society is managed by a group of dedicated individuals who are all passionate about the history of Chariton County. They work to provide the public with historical resources and documentation, as well as to preserve the collection of artifacts, photographs, documents, and other memorabilia.  Today, CCHS continues their mission of collecting, preserving, and exhibiting historical artifacts and records. They also assist with historical and genealogical research, and work to engage the community and educate on local history.

If you are interested in being a part of CCHS and supporting our mission, be sure to become a member!