THE KELLERMAN FOUNDATION EXHIBITIONS Upcoming Exhibitions
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.
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.
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.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Get Involved
Become A Member
Members will have opportunities to attend special, member-only events throughout the year.
Donation Of Your Time
Volunteers are used during special events to help improve the visitor experience, and help our guests.
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