At 80, Kerstetter skeleton to keep collecting Garden City history

September 7, 2014 - Picnic Time

Jack Kerstetter suspicion he was going to a birthday cooking with his children Wednesday, though they wanted to make a discerning stop during a Garden City Historical Museum. Little did he know that watchful in a Grand Parlour were members of a Garden City Historical Commission, who were there for a warn birthday party.

“I knew zero about it,” pronounced Kerstetter, who claims he’s “39 for a third time.” Actually, he’s 80 and looks on a large “eight-O” as “just another birthday.”

Not so for his friends on a elect who presented him with a birthday cake and an engraved section paver that will be placed in a corridor during a Straight Farm House, home of a Garden City Historical Museum.

There were no candles on a cake, nonetheless Mark Hammar, business manager for a chronological museum, had suspicion that a light competence be a good choice.

“Jack’s section will review John D. ‘Jack’ Kerstetter, Historian, Garden City Historical Commission,” Hammar said.

Born in 1934, Kerstetter was delivered during home by Dr. (Hymen) Vogel – “He was a initial man we meet” – and lived on a “crowded block.” It had 4 homes on it. He recalls a roving stables, a numbered schools and a Square Deal Club that Dr. Vogel helped start in a groundwork of his home.

Doc’s idea

And he knows a few of a city’s notables like Sen. Robert Griffin, who was lifted in Garden City and went to propagandize there. He also knows a late Dr. Francis “Doc” Schmitt, who got him concerned in a commission. Kerstetter was 12 when he initial met Schmitt, a dentist, in 1946.

“He pronounced we should get on a chronological elect with me carrying been here all my life,” Kerstetter said. “I took him adult on a offer. I’ve served 14 years as authority of a chronological commission. When John Neimi died, it was dumped on me.”

Kerstetter has clinging a lot of time to identifying a people in aged propagandize combination photos of a 1930s and 1940s. He started looking during them after anticipating 50 such photos in a filing cupboard when a chronological museum was located in a Log Cabin in Garden City Park. A few months later, Neimi found a box with about 200 some-more photos.

“We had 215 photos with some-more than 7,700 faces and we’ve identified 86.6 percent of them,” Kerstetter said. “When we looked during a few batches, we knew people in them. we contacted them and mailed them opposite a country. we never had anyone exclude to help.

“When we started, we was sharpened for 90 percent; 10 years after I’m during 86.6 percent,” he added. “I’m a small short.”

Looking for more

Admittedly, many of a people are adult in years and could be gone, though Kerstetter keeps looking for names. He put out a few photos during a cruise final year and got 4 more.

“I’m gratified we were means to get as most achieved as we did with a initial photos,” he said.

The museum also perceived dual boxes of photos from a aged West High School. With a assistance of Mark Gutman, a late propagandize administrator, Kerstetter was means to brand 50 percent of them.

The photos and names have been catalogued and a information is now being downloaded on a mechanism so people will be means to form in a name and locate a sketch in a building.

“It’s invalid storing photographs in a filing cabinet,” he said. “If we have cinema that we don’t know who they are, what a waste. we don’t know because people don’t get a information down in black and white.”

Kerstetter is display no pointer of negligence down on doing his chronological work. While he competence use a word “dump” about apropos a elect chairman, it’s clear he skeleton to keep on doing what he’s doing for as prolonged as he can.

“I’ll do this until we die or for whatever time God gives me,” he said. “I’m meddlesome in holding caring of a story part. It interests me and it gives me something to do.”


Twitter: @SusanMarieMason

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