Just a few steps west of the Richmond Fairgrounds is the Richmond Community Museum which showcases the area’s history and heritage through more than 1,000 artifacts, all from the area.

The Richmond Free Fair kicks off today and continues through Saturday. The museum will be open each day from 2 to 9 p.m. and offers a place to relax with a cold drink. There is no admission charge but donations are appreciated.

Available for browsing are “Richmond Gleanings” by Dorothy Kipper, albums of veterans, schools, 4-H, obituaries, weddings through the years, newspaper clippings, family histories, and more. There are two big albums about the Richmond Fair with many pictures and stories.

Because 2017 is the year the United States entered World War I, the special display is two dozen pictures of WWI men from the area, although this is not nearly all of them. There is a notebook of interesting stories about Mark Hart, Oda Kepple, and others. One Richmond soldier, Wilbur Stevenson, was killed in action in France, and three died of the influenza epidemic.

Visitors are welcome at the Richmond Museum during the fair, or from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Labor Day weekend.

A new sign with an arrow pointing west toward the museum is visible as visitors approach the Richmond intersection. Follow the sign to the fair, the United Methodist Church and the museum.