HISTORY of The Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society
" In October of 1996 a group of Ashland residents interested in Ashland's history
gathered at the invitation of Barbara Ziegenbein to form an organization.
They chose the name The Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society.
Temporary officers were:
Co-chairs: Martha "Marney" Fricke and Barbara Ziegenbein,
Treasurer, Marilyn (Kolb) Wright and Secretary, Judy Hull.
The organization's purpose was to stimulate the interest of Ashland citizens
in our rich heritage, to collect, record, care for and exhibit items that would
serve to illustrate the history of the Ashland area, and to acquire adequate
and proper space to preserve and exhibit these items in a manner that would
encourage donations and participation.
Meetings were quarterly with an annual meeting in September at which time
new offcers were elected. The first membership drive brought in 46 charter members.
Some projects undertaken for fund raising and education were:
The Historic Ashland Afghan, Post cards with the Ox Bow Trail cancellation,
the book "Main Street Ashland" and the Historical Marker at the site of
Memphis Ice House. Newsletters and posters were printed. Donated items,
pictures, maps, etc. were catalogued and filed in archival protective boxes.
Several oral histories were taken and recorded and transcribed.
Lillian (Dean) Bailey, with the wealth of historical data and knowledge,
began the feature , "A Glimpse of the Past", in The Ashland Gazette.
Several Members did research at the NE State Historical Society and
attended seminars on the preservation of historical artifacts.
Since April of 2005 the lack of an affordable space for the
organization has stalled further activity. Needed are youthful
enregy and ideas, The history of Ashland is worth preserving."
The story above is reprinted from The FIRST 150 YEARS Ashland Nebraska: 1857 - 2007
Since the 2007 story was written . . . :
. . . it was decided that The Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society would launch a website:
This would benefit the membership, as well as "connecting" with former residents and friends.
Our web presence is known as Ashland Historical Society - the name was chosen to make
"search engine optimization" easier . . more simply explained - "finding it" on Google, Bing, etc.
The www.AshlandHistoricalSociety.org website
was 'launched' Feb 10th, 2010
In late January 2011, the Ashland Historical Society launched their Facebook page
April 30th, 2012, the website "moved" to a new "web host" . . .
Our web address remained www.AshlandHistoricalSociety.org
the new "web host" ( a computer geek term ! ) will provide several features
that were not available on the previous 'host'
The 'transition' comes with a few 'hiccups' & challenges . .
you will see that we will have a better web presence when everything is completed.
MARCH - APRIL of 2015 The Ashland Historical Societyreached agreement with the
City Of Ashlandfor the long-term lease of the former Ashland (Carnegie) Public Library
building [circa 1911] as the AHS Headquartersand the Ashland History Museum [AHM ]
Synopsis: The website presence and the new Facebook page have created interest in Ashland history
from around the world and from outer space ! We have been able to create an enormous e-mail list
of Members, Friends & former residents, including Clay Anderson, Nebraska's first astronaut, Ashland's native son;
members of the military, Troy Froistad & Chris Bogus, Rich Snodgrass, serving our nation, & countless others.
We are able to preserve funds for ongoing projects through the e-mailing
of our newsletters, thereby saving printing and mailing expense.
We invite you to join our 'e-mail list' of Members & Friends of the
AHS, to receive updates, meeting schedules, & Quarterly Newsletters
send your request to INFO@AshlandHistoricalSociety.info
We learned in January of 2011, that Suzi Nelson of the Ashland Gazette was able to
secure permission from the OWH, owner of the Gazette, for the AHS to reprint the
entire "A Glimpse of the Past" series of articles written by Lillian (Dean) Bailey.
We are very grateful to Suzi, the Gazette & the OWH for this important contribution.
We will be making these available on CD/DVD very soon.
Through our "Contact Us" page, we receive several request monthly from folks
who are searching for genealogy information about family members with
ancestral roots in the Ashland community and the Ashland area.
This has served three very important purposes:
The family members have shared stories and pictures that we have been able to share
on the website, has energized our member "history buffs & genealogists" to search sources
that they have each & all developed over the the years and to establish new 'friends', as well.
Possibly the most exciting news is that in October of 2010, the Ashland Library Commitee
approved the selection of an architect to guide them through the process of building a NEW
Ashland Community Resource Center and Public Library . . .
a project that has been a dream in Ashland for several years !
The NEW ACRCand Library [Ashland Community Resource Center and Public Library]
was dedicated and opened on February 7th, 2015.
A picture postcard from the Dick Harnsberger collection - (below)
The Ashland (Carnegie) Public Library was built in 1911
& is on the National Register of Historic Places
This story about the Ashland (Carnegie) Public Library was first published in 1915:
The City of Ashland is fortunate in having an excellent public library.
The modern city is coming to recognize the necessity of a library, where the public,
particularly the people who have never had the advantage of a library,
may have the privilege of keeping themselves informed.
The idea originated in Ashland in 1910-11.
The Woman's Club of the town, Reverend Clark, and E. C. Wiggenhorn were largely responsible for its inception.
The sum of $5,500 was secured from the great philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, and the total cost of the building was $7,000.
Ernest A. Wiggenhorn, Jr., donated the ground on which the building stands and H. A. Wiggenhorn put on a $5,000.00 roof.
Numerous other citizens donated various sums to aid in the construction.
Ground was broken for the building in October, 1911, and the building was opened the last of March, 1912, with Jessie Scott as librarian.
The contract for the erection of the library was given to W. R. Shankland of Lincoln, Neb.
The building was rented to the Ashland Historical Society for use as a museum in February, 2015.