The Great Plains Welsh Heritage Center held a special open house and dinner to welcome new members to on Saturday evening.
Updates on the upcoming Heritage Inn project were also given to those in attendance.
The museum was formed in 2000 as a tribute to the Welsh immigrants that came as early as the 1860s to the Wymore area. It is the only organization in the United States and Canada dedicated to the Welsh settlers of the plains.
A separate non-profit was formed by Rebecca Cherney of San Francisco for the purpose of building a 6-8 room bed and breakfast that will be located on South Seventh Street in Wymore.
Cherney grew up in the Wymore area and has relatives that are active with the upkeep of the GPWHC.
Gwenith Closs-Colgrove, President of the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Center, said plans are progressing.
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The architectural plans have approved by the Wymore City Council. The plans have been submitted to the State Fire Marshall and are awaiting approval. Contractors are reviewing the plans.
“The Heritage Inn will be a great benefit to the community,” said Closs-Colgrove. “We host a lot of people who come to do genealogy research and this will give them a place to stay. It will also be a benefit when people come for alumni banquets, weddings, and funerals."
The 15 person board of directors for the GPWHC reside in throughout the Great Plains states. An advisory board also helps support the center.
The mission of the Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project is to discover, preserve, interpret and celebrate the history and contributions of Welsh pioneers on the North American Prairies; and to further the public understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity.
The organization also includes the historic one-room schoolhouse that is currently in McCandless Park in Wymore, the Burlington Railroad Depot, and Bethel Welsh Cemetery south of Wymore. In 2013 a state-of-the –art archive building was added to the museum.
“We are the only repository of the Welsh language newspaper, “Y Drych”, in microfilm format, with issues dating back to 1851,” said Jayne Rudder, Board member.
The North American Festival of Wales will be held for the first time in Lincoln, Nebraska during Labor Day weekend in 2023.
“We will be hosting tours at the museum and it will be a wonderful celebration of Welsh heritage,” said Closs-Colgrove.
More information can be found at welshheritageproject.org.