Hall County’s historic buildings, both extant and long gone, have been captured in display size, courtesy of the Hall County Historical Society and the Cat’s Meow Society.
“It’s a fond memory of something the Historical Society did that spread to many communities,” said Annette Davis, secretary of the Hall County Historical Society. “These are fond memories of buildings that are still important or maybe don’t even exist.”
“That might be the only way some people can see some of these buildings — for example, the old Union Pacific Depot, which was a nice building. It doesn’t exist anymore.”
Wooden souvenirs are sold to raise funds for the historical society.
“It goes into our general expenses – no specific goal that it would come from, but we have a lot of good projects going on all the time,” Davis said.
Some abandoned pieces are “reoffered” to the historical society for resale, Davis said. “It’s pretty cool for reselling some things that aren’t made anymore.”
People also read…
The latest design is from The Grand Island Baking Co.
According to Davis, the most popular past designs include Coney Island. “It’s probably the biggest seller and the one you can buy in Coney Island,” she said.
There are already plans for the next Cat’s Meow figurine, Davis said. “So many things that come to mind or people are probably suggesting the next one we’ll do is the Grand Island Women’s Club (on West Second Street) which is very historic.”
Davis’ favorites tend to be the first pieces made, like the Hall County Courthouse. “We started with the courthouse, and we did the Liederkranz, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, for our own sake, Stolley House was of course one.”
She said there are a few people who collect every number.
“We have a total of about 20 that have been released, but some are now out of production. At least 10 or 15 are available,” Davis said. least eight or 10 people in that area who collected them all.
The historical society is giving collectors a helping hand, Davis said. “They are numbered on the back. I have a few people whose numbers we register, so they have the same numbers and have collected them all.
Wooden replicas can be purchased for $25 from the Historical Society’s online store (https://www.hallnehistory.com/store.html). They are also available at the Stuhr Museum gift shop.
Jessica Votipka is an education reporter at the Grand Island Independent. She can be reached at 308-381-5420.