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Addition to Wildwood Historical Society Takes Shape

Construction workers are making rapid progress this week to the new Wildwood Historical Society building located off Missouri Route 100.

Wildwood Historical Society members are expanding their meeting and display room footprint so they can accommodate more visitors to see and hear about the variety of pieces and historical gems they have collected over the years. Many people have donated all sorts of remnants of what life was like in the villages of Grover, Pond, Hollow, Centaur, Melrose, Fox Creek, Orrville, Allenton, Westland Acres, Kelps and Monarch before Wildwood was incorporated.

See prior articles:

Proposed Addition to Wildwood's 'Historic Chicken Coop' Draws Debate

The next Wildwood Historical Society meeting is 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the "Chicken Coop" at the Hencken House Museum property, 18750 Highway 100.

The Wildwood Historical Society was founded in 1999 to continue the work of the Wildwood Historical Preservation Committee.

The Property's Historic Roots

Henry Hencken married Sophia Bohning in 1852 and purchased this property. Begun in the 1970s, the Damhorst family built structures there to house their growing wooden toy business, but Wildwood zoning restrictions forced them to relocate around the year 2000.

In 2009, Wildwood Historical Society members purchased the 5.4-acre Hencken Place property and accompanying buildings to create a new center for the group's meetings and activities.

During December 2010, the society received a donation of $50,000 from the Peggy and Steve Fossett Foundation to maintain and improve the museum property. Peggy Fossett is the granddaughter of Otto and Clara Hencken. Otto was born and raised in the home on the Historical Society’s property in Wildwood. Otto and Clara, along with Peggy’s parents Elvin and Loretta Viehlane, are buried in St. Bridgit Cemetery in Pacific, MO.

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