Skip to content

Season Opens on May 15


A former customer service specialist turned chamber administrator. A transplanted contracts specialist with research and writing talents. A known collector of 10,000 tools. A retired home economics teacher. An Edwardsburg native with stories from the past. That is just part of the lineup for the Edwardsburg Area Museum’s 2019 season, which opens May 15.

All of the speaking engagements dovetail with this season’s displays. The opening on May 15 will showcase Doing Business: Past and Present.

An array of items from retail, industrial, commercial and agricultural businesses and proprietors, both past and present, will be featured. The display will include objects both from the museum’s inventory and those on loan from local citizens.

Tom Haikin, whose extensive research has led to the authorship of 17 books, including The Edwardsburg Mysteries, will be the season’s opening speaker at 7 p.m., Thurs., June 20.  Haikin, who has lived with his family in Edwardsburg since the fall of 2017, will discuss the discoveries he made in his extensive research on Edwardsburg’s early history and his work to author a sequel entitled, Finding Lovica.  Haikin was born in Los Angeles. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and a Master’s of Business Administration from Regis University in Denver. During his career, he worked for both the government and private industry.

Roy Smothermon, the administrator of the Edwardsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, will address the state of current businesses in the area. Smothermon, a native of Hooker, Okla., graduated from Panhandle State University, Goodwill, Okla.,  with a Bachelor of Science in Education. He retired in 2008 as the manager of customer service for Tri-County Electric, a cooperative in Hooker, where he was employed for 30 years. He will speak at 7 p.m., Thurs., July 18.

The second exhibit of the season will be “Tools Around the House,” which will open on Aug. 15. The display will feature a vintage collection of tools from the museum’s inventory, with two speakers on the agenda.

The first, Ann Sakaguchi Silverman, is Edwardsburg High School’s retired home economics teacher. Her topic will be women’s tools used in the kitchen, the garden, and for cleaning. She will speak at 7 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 15.

Silverman had a 36-year teaching career, the last 28 in Edwardsburg. She received her Bachelor of Science from Manchester College, and two master’s degrees, one in general education and the other in family studies, both from Purdue University. She taught home economics and biology at the high school level in Warsaw and Brown County, Indiana, and home economics at John Adams High School in South Bend, and in Edwardsburg.

At 7 p.m., Thurs., Sept. 19, longtime Edwardsburg resident John Sindelar, will his knowledge about tools around the house based on his experience of collecting items dating to 150,000 BC. Sindelar, who grew up in Berrien Springs and opened his first show in Eau Claire, has collected tools from 20 to 30 countries, and estimates his collection at 10,000 pieces. He has featured in several national magazines and owns Sindelar Fine Woodworking in Granger, Indiana. In addition to a video presentation, he will park his Sindelar Traveling Tool Museum museum’s side yard for public exploration.

The final speaker of the season will be Edwardsburg native Lee Montgomery, who will entertain guests with stories of his growing up years. The interview with him will be at 7 p.m., Thurs., Oct. 17.

The season will end with the Christmas display, “All Dolled Up,” which opens on Nov. 6 and will showcase dolls from the museum’s collection and from area residents.

 The museum will close for the season on Dec. 14.