The Village of Glen Carbon considers itself extremely lucky to have a Heritage Museum filled with historical artifacts compiled over many decades. The museum is a local landmark that was once the grade school, Village Hall, and library for Glen Carbon. Along with the local museum, the Yanda Log Cabin dates back to the 1850s, rediscovered in 1989 once the siding was removed. Maintaining the historical relevance of both structures and their collections is a job that Samantha Doolin, museum coordinator, takes great pride in managing.
Doolin is very passionate about her important role with the Village of Glen Carbon. She is excited about the wealth of information available to share with the community at both the cabin and the museum. When asked about her favorite aspect of the job, she didn’t hesitate to answer. “Every day is different when working here. Reviewing the various collections and cataloging them, scanning articles or old photos, and giving tours to different groups always means learning something new and interacting with new people,” said Doolin.
So far in 2022, the museum and cabin have had a huge uptick in visitors and tours, more than in recent memory. Doolin would like to continue the growing interest in these two landmarks. “We’ve had assisted living facilities visit our museum with rave reviews and have begun to offer more events. This year, we are offering a chance to win a private dinner at the cabin with friends, a haunted history tour that sold out within hours, and a holiday event called Glenfestival of Trees where organizations and businesses can decorate a tree or wreath to be displayed within the museum’s walls. We have even begun discussions with the library to offer monthly children’s programs at the cabin.”
Doolin said that she believes that the Glen Carbon community is unique and a wonderful mix of old and new. “Walking through old town Glen Carbon and seeing buildings and residences that are over 100 years old still gracing our streets is amazing. Residents have donated artifacts they found in the walls during remodels from Russia in the early 1900s, and many bricks on homes around town were made from The St. Louis Press Brick Co. that operated here until the fire of 1906.”
She further noted the appreciation the community has for remembering the old and embracing the new is special. “I see Glen Carbon as a quiet, small-town mirroring the community’s past. Today, it offers access to the modern conveniences of a larger town but still has that small-town feel,” said Doolin. “It’s a rare mix and that’s why people like living here.”
Doolin is married and has two small daughters and enjoys the cooler, fall weather and picnics with family. She enjoys completing projects at the museum and planning for the future, excited about the renewed community involvement happening at both landmarks. To learn more, visit the museum website page at https://www.glencarbonil.gov/891/Heritage-Museum-and-Log-Cabin. Registrations are also currently being accepted for the Glenfestival of Trees. Contact the museum at (618) 288-7271 for more details.
Samantha Doolin, shown.