Brookville Historical Society

Exhibit Building

Exhibit Building and Research LibraryThe building at 3 Hay Avenue was purchased in January of 2007 to be used as an additional exhibit building and additional storage space and also for its historic significance.  The original two-story front portion of this brick building was completed in 1907 for the home of the Dr. William Shuey Mundhenk family. Dr. Mundhenk had a medical practice in Brookville from 1876 to 1919 and after his death his wife continued to live in the home until the early 1930's. 

Samuel A Dunkel bought the home in 1937 and it became the S A Dunkel and Sons Funeral Home - the first funeral home in Brookville. Prior to this the custom was for the deceased to be embalmed at their home or in the hospital and funerals were held at the residence or in a church. In 1968 Bob Gilbert and Lee Rogers bought the funeral home and in 1972 Mr. Gilbert became the sole owner. He wished to expand the building and add off-street parking and purchased the adjoining lot where the Spitler House was located. He offered to donate it and in 1973 the Historical Society had its beginnings with a “Save The Spitler House” campaign. The house was successfully moved across the alley to its present location at 14 Market Street. Then in 1990 the funeral home was bought by Mr. & Mrs. David Fellers who later moved to another location and subsequently sold the building to the Historical Society.

Following the purchase in 2007 the society then began to prepare the building for the displaying of a variety of items from its stored collections. The new Exhibit Building was opened on November 11, 2009. A large number of donated items are on display on the first floor and large garage area. There is an area for displaying memorabilia from WW I, WW II, Korean War and the Vietnam War. There are also uniforms on display from those wars as well as ones from Spanish American War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. A room is designated for a medical display with items from area doctors, dentists, and optometrists. Another room has school items - old desks, books, pictures, band uniforms, trophies and much more. In a large community room there are items from many businesses and organizations. In this room also is an area for changing exhibits emphasizing events, organizations, etc. In the garage area is an agricultural display of farm equipment and tools and information about early farm life. On one wall is a painted mural with a farming theme and includes a partially hidden mouse for children to discover. In one corner is a display of the log cabin that the society had owned at one time.

The Exhibit Building is open on the second Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 4:00 pm March to November. Tours are self-guided. It is handicap accessible and has air conditioning. 

Also housed in a portion of the building is the Wayne and Dorothy Watkins Research Library. For more information go to the menu item or click on the above link.