Tour of Welsh Centre

Inside the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Centre

Let us take a tour of the as we change and grow....

Welcome into the Centre vestibule...don't forget to sign our guestbook and take a look at our Donor Wall. The wall contains Donors, as well as, "In Memoriam" to those special loved ones. Directly from Wales is a Welsh dancing uniform that is also on display when you enter the Centre. A corner display "Home Front and Beyond" honors those Welshmen that served in WWI. The WWI uniform was donated by the Roberts family. Also in the exhibit is a rooster that made over $40,000 during the war; a helmet lost and found; condolence letters (in Welsh) from Wymore on the death of Sgt. Parry, Postville Welsh Settlement; Trench Organ that saw action in a Blue Springs classroom, a "Victory Garden" report card for a 2nd grader during the war and a Bethel Church notice in Y Drych (1914) of a wartime contribution sent from Wymore to the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George (a Welshman).

After you sign in you will see our busy John E. & Sara A. Jones Office area. Watch out when the papers are flying and work needs to be done, especially when Berwyn is trying to get the quarterly newsletter out!

Next you can look in on the Ellsworth & Hazel (Jenkins) Closs Family Library. We have much to do in this room but we have tried to make it inviting and comfortable for you to tell your family history. We really don't want to lose that history so please let us know if you would like to be interviewed and tell your story. Added to the room is a computer donated by Marilyn Samuelson and the Past Perfect Software was donated by Dr. Ada Mae Lewis.

Add your ancestor to the "Wall of Heroes." Read about fellow Welshmen that have contributed to their adopted country. If you have someone you would like to see honored, please let us know. Let's fill up the wall!

Join us in the Richard & Nellie Williams Auditorium for films, singing, poetry, culture....just plain fun! Enjoy learning about Welsh heritage. The auditorium now also houses the wonderful Bethel Organ.

Enjoy the Coming to America Exhibit documenting Welsh immigration to America, from the slate quarries in the east, across the plains. Read how Welshmen crossed the ocean, embraced their new lives, while retaining the culture of their homeland.

The Dr. Charles & Emma Thomas Exhibit Room houses our main displays as well as serving as our meeting room and entertaining guests with tea and tea cakes. We are fortunate to have a number of donated items that are rich in history of our Welsh heritage. They include a Welsh tea set, textiles, signature quilts, books, Welsh attire and so much more. The Centre is a must see!

Included in the Welsh Woven Textiles are both modern and antique woolens. Perhaps the most remarkable is a very old carthen (coverlet) depicting "Wales Then" (Carenarfon Castle) and "Wales Now" (the original University of Wales building in Aberystwyth). This item dates back to the late 1800's. Also displayed is a double-woven tapestry blanket made on a Jacquard loom. It is said to have been purchased in Wales in the 1920's and brought to Ohio by a bride. Of lighter weight Jacquard cloth displayed is a four-piece lady's outfit and a few smaller items such as coin purses and spectacle cases. Finally, a Victorian Stereo viewer loaded with century-old photographs of a Welsh weaving mill is available to visitors so that they may see the actual conditions under which these items would have been made.

The first signature quilt donated to GPWHP dates back to around 1914 and was donated to GPWHP by the St. David's Society of Minnesota. The quilt is said to have been produced for a fundraiser at the time of the outbreak of WWI. The white cloth quilt contains 56 blocks approximately one foot square each, each having a center circle from which radiate about 24 pie-shaped wedges, each containing a name embroidered in red. In the center of each square is stitched a name, presumed to be the "sponsor" of that block. Four more names are stitched in the corners of the blocks, so each one contains approximately 29 names. The entire quilt must contain over 1600 names in all! Most of the names are recognizably Welsh, although there are exceptions. The quilt was owned by Mrs. Ethel Williams Winter, longtime member of the St. David's Society of Minnesota, and was acquired by the Society upon her death.

A beautiful "red work" quilt was recently donated by Margaret and Bill Jones of Boulder, Colorado. It resembles the other red work quilt in that it has wheels of signatures worked in red embroidery thread on a creamy white background. This quilt has several additional design features-red binding between the squares and an embroidered picture of the Denver Welsh Church in the center square. The date of this quilt appears to be around 1910.

A very important part of the Exhibit Room is the "Family Corner" display. Each Welsh family of the Great Plains area is invited to take a turn displaying their period furniture, photographs, and artifacts in a corner grouping simulating a room their home. Gather your family items and bring them in for temporary display to be a part of history. Please contact us for exhibit dates.

We can't let you forget to visit our Isaac & Jane Williams Gift Shop. We have great items for purchase as well as other display items. Please remember that if you buy Welsh products from Simple Soothings 70% will go to GPWHP. There are also some great gifts brought back by Berwyn & Martha from Wales, Red Dragons made by local crafter Bob Allen and Wheat Fans. In the shop is also housed the new computer with the Rosetta Stone software to learn Welsh language. These items were donated by the Closs Family. Storing the computer is a beautiful armoire donated by Berwyn Jones.

The Centre also houses two handicap accessible restrooms, a kitchen and storage area.

We WELCOME you to visit the Centre and join in the journey along with the GPWHP to preserve Welsh heritage for our future generations.

If you wish to visit the centre it is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day every Sunday from 2-5pm. All other times are by appointment, please call 402-645-3186, 402-645-3282 or 402-645-3231 for more information. We look forward to visiting with you and showing you around.

If you are unable to visit the centre but would like to make a purchase, please visit the Isaac and Jane Williams Gift Shop.