SOUTH WHITLEY — The Whitley County Historical Society annual banquet Wednesday evening at the Brownstone Cafe in South Whitley brought three new members onto the board: Pat Heinbaugh, Wendi Barnett and Chris Hockemeyer. Dennis Warnick, president of the organization, filled out the slate to continue for another term.
Anna Rhoades was surprised to be given the Volunteer of the Year award for coming in every Wednesday for “20 years or so,” she said, and organizing the filing for the historical society.
Warnick, as president, gave out the President’s Award, this year to Chuck Jones, a past president, for running “the best fundraiser we’ve ever had.”
He was referring to last fall’s gun raffle which raised $2,000 in three weeks, raffling a 22 rifle with historical engravings donated by Jeff Ott of Precision Arms of Indiana LLC in Columbia City.
The crowd of more than 65 was entertained by the Hearthstone Ensemble, out of Fort Wayne, a musical group of eight ladies dressed in period costume, playing historical instruments and singing folk songs from the past.
The crowd was encouraged to join in the songs they knew, which they did, especially for “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” “Goober Peas,” a medley of Stephen Foster songs including, “Camptown Races,” and a beautiful rendition of “Shenandoah,” with a bowed psaltery accompaniment.
The bowed psaltery, according to the player, is an instrument older than the Bible.
The meeting concluded with a visit from former President Theodore Roosevelt.