Step into the past with a ‘Night at the Museum’

Correspondent Amy Wenger contributed to this article
NAPPANEE — Take a step back in time with the cast of “Night at the Museum,” Saturday, Oct. 27.
From 6 to 8 p.m. visitors at the Nappanee Center (downtown Nappanee) can see actors portraying local citizens of yesteryear, presenting scenes of Nappanee history featuring authentic items, detailed information, and archives from the community. Attendees into the historical program will learn about an early community celebration with a much different “flavor” than the Apple Festival, a famous cartoonist, one of the city’s first service clubs, and more. 
This its second year, the presentation is offered to the public for free through a partnership between the Nappanee Public Library and the City’s Historic Preservation Commission, and Martha Weirich, coordinator of the Evelyn Lehman Culp Heritage Collection which is featured throughout the program’s sets.
Weirich explained that the birth of the event came about by example. “I had heard about other libraries and museums doing this kind of event,” she said. “I talked to the board about it and then we came up with our own kind of program.”
This year’s program will have six scenes and will feature only one “returning” person from Nappanee’s past, the Dutch Maid recognized as the face of Coppes Brothers — the actress portraying her to be wearing a costume worn by the member of Coppes family, and will welcome everyone in attendance.  ,
“The first year it was challenging but this year almost all our actors from last year are coming back and helping again,” Weirich explained. “We let in from five to 10 (visitors) at a time. The whole thing is about 15 to 20 minutes long and the groups spend about five minutes at each scene with tour guides that take them through and set up the scenes for them and share bits of history as they go along.”
She added that not only will visitors of the event get the privilege of visiting the museum during evening hours, but can take part in something as educational and memorable as it is fun.
The 2012 “Night at the Museum” cast includes:
Larry Andrews as a Tour Guide
Linda Arch as a Thursday Club Member
Margaret Belt as the Dutch Maid
Suzi Cool as the School Teacher
Jeanie Dudley as a Thursday Club Member
Ashley Escamilla as an Onion Festival Visitor
Danny Fattorusso as Factory Worker #2
Nora Flores as Merrill’s classmate
Kylee Gall as Merrill’s classmate
Makenna Gall as Merrill’s classmate
Janet Heckaman as a Thursday Club Member
Daniel Hochstetler as Merrill Blosser
Arrington Krull as an Onion Festival Visitor
John Loucks as a Tour Guide
Audrey Mather as a Thursday Club Member
Andrew McCoy as Merrill’s classmate
Grace McCoy as Bernetha Hartman
Candice Overmyer as a Tour Guide
Shelby Stahly as Factory Worker #1
Diana Smith as an Onion Festival Visitor
Dick Smith as an Onion Festival Visitor
Rocki Stillson as a Tour Guide
Tilly Stillson as Lillie Hartman
E.J. Weirich as an Onion Festival Visitor
Amy Wenger as a Tour Guide
Carol Wentz as a Thursday Club Member.
For more information about this upcoming event, which is offered free of charge, call 574-773-7919 or visit