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Our Opinion: Taking their place in local history

News Tribune editorial

The historical made history last week.

Two local residents were recognized for their contributions to preserving history, two city facilities were designated as city Landmarks and a proposal to create a firefighter museum was announced.

Bob Priddy and Steve Veile received the Gregory Stockard Distinguished Service Award from Jefferson City’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Priddy has documented state and local history in his books, including a biography of artist Thomas Hart Benton, a book on the art of the Missouri Capitol and his three-volume history, “Across Our Wide Missouri.”

Veile is serving his fifth year as president of the Historic City of Jefferson and has been instrumental in the preservation of local historic structures.

Elevated to Landmark status are Riverview Cemetery, 2600 W. Main St., and the East End Fire Station, 915 W. Miller St.

The 88 acres of the 102-year-old Riverview Cemetery serve as the final resting place for a number of people who shaped state and local history, including three Missouri governors.

The estimated 2,700 military veterans buried there include Civil War soldiers – both Union and Confederate.

The East End Fire Station, opened in 1935, and the adjacent, soon-tobe-vacated animal shelter, have been identified as a potential firefighter museum.

The aim is to finance the museum through private contributions and, perhaps, some assistance from the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

With the city facing an anticipated lean budget year, City Council members will need to explore its role and the ongoing costs of operating a museum.

Regardless of whether the museum proves a feasible addition to local history, we commend our area historians and preservationists.

They, including the Stockard honorees, are among the people who are preserving local landmarks and local history for coming generations.

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