The historic items displayed at the Stella Historical Society Museum on Saturday may look like long-forgotten artifacts, but Hazel Ensley knows many came from her neighbor’s homes.
“A lot of us have roots here,” said Ensley, president of the historical society.
She and other volunteers filled visitors in about Stella’s history during the “Remnants of the Past” event at the museum complex and Stella Lutheran Chapel, about 10 miles west of Longview.
The 40th annual event drew a “pretty good turnout,” Ensley said, with visitors filtering between the museum and church throughout the day.
Up the road from the museum, a handful of vendors selling quilts, handmade soap and other items set up outside the Stella Lutheran Chapel. Historic photographs were displayed inside the church.
The society also opened it’s four museum buildings — an 1884 post office, 1907 blacksmith shop, machine shed and new forge building. Blacksmith Matt Moore gave demonstrations in the forge, which is safer to work in than the original structure, Ensley said.
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Donations from the event fund upkeep and restoration of the buildings, Ensley said.
“We try to find out what we need next to keep history alive,” she said.
Ensley said her family moved to Stella in 1904. She became joined the historical society in 2011 after moving back to the area.
“It’s what I grew up with and who I am,” she said. “If I don’t know that, how can I tell my son who we are?”
The event closes out the museum’s summer season, but Ensley said anyone who wants a tour can book an appointment.