Heritage Hall Kellerman Foundation The
Kellerman
Foundation
June 2021 — October 2021

Missouri Barge Line: An Erlbacher Legacy on the River begins June 3rd, 2021! Come see the exhibit at Heritage Hall in downtown Cape Girardeau.

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THE KELLERMAN FOUNDATION EXHIBITIONS Upcoming Exhibitions

Erlbacher Exhibit

KELLERMAN FOUNDATION PRESENTSMissouri Barge Line: An Erlbacher Legacy on the River

THE KELLERMAN FOUNDATION WELCOMES YOU TO ITS EXHIBIT AT HERITAGE HALL.

JUNE 2021—OCTOBER 2021
The Missouri Barge Line was established in 1945 by Robert Erlbacher and his wife Mabel Erlbacher.  What began as a small boat-building and river transport business with his brother Eddie Erlbacher in the early 1930s, Robert Erlbacher turned into an extremely successful decades-long operation, one that exemplifies the true spirit of American ingenuity and enterprise.  The Missouri Barge Line: An Erlbacher Legacy on the River showcases many of the stories from this fascinating legacy into a single historical timeline for the first time.

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THE KELLERMAN FOUNDATION’S MISSIONHeritage.

OUR GOAL IS TO FOSTER THE PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION OF HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE AND THE STORIES BEHIND IT.

The Kellerman Foundation for Historic Preservation, founded by Drs. Bert and Mary Ann Kellerman, exists to encourage and support historic preservation in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.  We do this while connecting the community to its architectural, historical and cultural legacy by telling its stories.

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Clark-Kellerman Fountain House

The Kellerman Foundation Legacy

It’s important to preserve our local history. This includes the places that defined its culture and its experiences, all of which have influenced the present. 

Drs. Bert and Mary Ann Kellerman set out to restore several buildings in the Cape Girardeau area starting in the 1970s. Over the decades, they’ve managed multiple property refurbishments and renovations. Both had successful careers in higher education, and they didn’t have to undertake these projects.

The emphasis on preservation of historic properties represents a dedication not only to the community but to the history of an entire region of the American Middle-West.

The work they’ve done in Cape Girardeau enhanced the city’s historic downtown, bringing new life to buildings on the verge of demolition or collapse. Not only this, but their efforts have gone on to save properties of significant importance to the state of Missouri.

One of the best examples of their work is the Oliver-Leming House, located near the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. This is where the flag of the state of Missouri was designed — an important historical landmark for Missouri. The house underwent major refurbishments to get it back to what it was a century ago.

Another example can be seen in the Klostermann Block building in Cape Girardeau. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, being one of the first in Cape Girardeau to make that list.

Without the hard work and determination of the Kellermans, the community of both Cape Girardeau and the state of Missouri would’ve lost properties of enormous significance. It’s due to their continued preservation and outreach these places are still extant for posterity.

This is a legacy that will live on for generations to come.

Oliver-Leming House

The Kellerman Foundation’s Oliver Collection

Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver created the flag for the state of Missouri in Cape Girardeau. The Kellermans spent a decade refurbishing the Oliver-Leming house, completed in 2013 in time for the flag’s centennial celebration.

The Kellerman Foundation has a collection of Marie Watkins Oliver’s personal belongings, along with ninety-five boxes of Oliver family history.

Discover Collection

Missouri Flag
The Oliver Collection

HOW YOU CAN HELP Get Involved

Become A Member

Members will have opportunities to attend special, member-only events throughout the year. 

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Donation Of Your Time

Volunteers are used during special events to help improve the visitor experience, and help our guests. 

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Apply For Scholarships

A $1,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a student pursuing architecture / historic preservation. 

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