Concordia Area Museum
In February 2003 the Concordia Area Museum was opened in the Concordia Community Center. Hundreds of visitors from Missouri and across America have toured the museum since it opened. The museum, sponsored by the Concordia Area Heritage Society, takes up three rooms on the middle floor of the. Center.
Every year, new historical items are added to the museum's display, and rotating exhibitions make this an enjoyable trip down memory lane.
Items for viewing have been donated by present and past residents, including farm goods, historical records, memorabilia from former businesses, military uniforms and equipment, old household goods, and photographs
Highlights from the museum have included an old spinning wheel and carder brought to America in the 1840s from Hannover, Germany, by the great-grandfather of a local resident.
The museum has items from an old Concordia blacksmith shop. Those pieces include a froe, cleaving tool with a wedge-shaped blade and offset handle, broad ax, branding iron, plowshare and a piece of wood from the old Lutheran church.
A working loom on which rugs were weaved for local families in the late 1800s and early 1900s, demonstrates the art of making carpet strip rugs.
Antique toys, clothing and other daily items are also on display to help us remember and understand the life and the history of our community.
On display in the museum are articles from Topsy’s Café. Of particular interest is the menu displaying the cost of food and drinks in bygone years.
In 1912 Topsy Oetting opened a restaurant and pool hall in Concordia. He operated the restaurant until 1953 and the pool hall till 1960.
In 1953 Walter “Wahoo” Boeschen and his wife Melba took over the restaurant and operated it until their retirement. The restaurant is still open in 2020 – over 108 years.
Kathryn Kuhlman, renowned evangelist was born May 9, 1907 on a farm about 4 miles south of Concordia. The family later moved into Concordia.
Our exhibit has an extensive amount of material including books, tapes, and videos that were donated by the Kathryn Kuhlman foundation. Kuhlman’s ministry took her from coast to coast and worldwide.
She died In February 1976 and was buried in a private site at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
A section of the museum is devoted to Concordia’s proud musical heritage. In 1881 the CONCORDIA MUSIKCHOR (band) was organized. Teacher W. Wilk, director. From the days of the first bands to the present, Concordia bands have earned many awards for their musical talent.
In the museum are band pictures from the early days. Pictured above is the bandstand in South Side park and a drum used by the Concordia High.
Tessie Marten’s Concordia Municipal Band uniform is proudly displayed. Children will enjoy a musical instrument constructed with doorbells and tuned to musical octaves which was built by Arba Deke.
Our musical heritage has been evident through the years, especially by the Concordia High Marching Orioles and the Saint Paul’s Singing Saints.