Staff Report from the Lincoln Sentinel-Republican
In rural Kansas, most people think the preservation of history, whether it be buildings or artifacts, is a nice idea, but not a very practical one when it comes to the time and money it takes.
But Jack and Kathie Crispin feel differently.
In 1997, the Crispins purchased the Cummins Block Building, a long-neglected limestone commercial building in downtown Lincoln.
They worked tirelessly to list the building on the National Register of Historic Places and perform a full rehabilitation.
Today, the first floor of the building contains two museums created and curated by the Crispins, while the second floor serves as their residence.
And earlier this month, the couple was recognized for their lifelong passion for preserving and promoting history.
Each year, the Kansas Preservation Alliance recognizes exemplary efforts in historic preservation across the state of Kansas. This year, the Crispins were honored as recipients of the Advocacy Award for Excellence for their work in preserving the Cummins Block Building, promoting Girl Scout and drug store history and advancing preservation in north-central Kansas.
The KPA’s awards for excellence were presented May 19 at the historic Fire Station #2 in Topeka.
The organization’s advocacy award is presented to individuals, organizations, or institutions in recognition of significant contributions to the preservation and/or revitalization of historic resources statewide. Preservation Advocacy awards honor outstanding initiatives and commitment to the advancement of historic preservation in Kansas that have either recently taken place recently or occurred over several years.
After doing much of their own self-initiated research, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
Later, the couple began rehabilitating the building, including repairing and replacing the roof, adding new windows and doors, cleaning and repainting the masonry and installing new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
One of the Crispins’ two museums is Post Rock Scout Museum, which Kathie operates. Since the second grade, Girl Scouting has been a part of Crispin’s life. In recognition of her service to scouting, Kathie has received the Outstanding Volunteer Award, Thanks Badge and Treasured Time Award.
Early on, Crispin collected Girl Scout memorabilia, and in 2004, opened a museum displaying her personal collection.
The Post Rock Scout Museum focuses on several different important time periods in the development of the Girl Scouts organization as well as the histories of other scouting organizations.
Crispin has also been involved in preserving Lincoln’s local history. She has not only served on the Lincoln County Historical Society Board of Directors and the committee to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln County Courthouse, but has also chaired the Lincoln County Tourism Coalition for more than 10 years. She has also been an intergral part of the Lincoln Days planning committee.
The second museum featured in the Cummins Block Building is the Crispin Drug Store Museum. Before acquiring the building, Jack Crispin was a pharmacist and collector of historical artifacts from the pharmaceutical field.
In 2007, he opened the museum to display his collection. Jack’s collection has a special emphasis on the 1880-1920 period in the central United States because it was an important transitional time for pharmacists. Additionally, Jack is a Civil War historian who gives presentations at the Lincoln Days festival and the Lincoln County Historical Museum.
He also serves on the Lincoln City Council.
“Jack and Kathie Crispin have shown their lifelong passions for preserving and promoting history,” KPA officials said in a press release. “They have rehabbed a historic building, created museums from their extensive personal collections, donated their time and expertise on historical boards and committees and shared their knowledge with many others so that they may follow in their footsteps.”