Hometown Heritage relocates to Carnegie Library Wednesday

Last summer's tour of the Carnegie Library Museum by the Consortium of Iowa Archivists could turn into regular visits now that the Fullhart/Carnegie Charitable Trust, doing business as Hometown Heritage, is making the Carnegie Library its new home.

The former home of the Fullhart/Carnegie Charitable Trust, doing business as Hometown Heritage, is nearly vacant after the trust’s Wednesday move across Willis Avenue to the Carnegie Library Museum.

The Fullhart/Carnegie Charitable Trust, doing business as Hometown Heritage, moved south across Willis Avenue Wednesday, leaving its offices in the basement of the Towncraft Building at 1124 Willis Ave. for higher ground in the Carnegie Library Museum at 1123 Willis Ave.

The Fullhart/Carnegie Charitable Trust owns most of the artworks in the Hotel Pattee and also houses an archive of some 15,000 photographs of Perry and its environs, making it one of the largest image databases of small-town life. Called Pathways, the database was developed in collaboration with the College of Design at Iowa State University from donated and loaned materials from local residents.

The trust’s removal to new offices was not announced in advance.

A brief statement posted Wednesday on the Hometown Heritage website said, “Today is a short post, as we have been busy all day moving our office across the street. That’s right. Hometown Heritage is now located in the Carnegie Library.”

A new element in the Hometown Heritage’s Carnegie arrangements will cater to people with an interest in family history.

Bill Clark is the executive director of the Fullhart/Carnegie Charitable Trust, doing business as Hometown Heritage.

“In addition to all the services we already provide,” the trust’s statement said, “we will also be overseeing a new genealogy station that has been installed in the Carnegie.”

As a warm up to using the new Hometown Heritage genealogy station, a free beginner’s class in genealogy and family history will be offered Monday, Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Perry Public Library.

Jennifer Ewing, executive director of the Iowa Genealogical Society, will lead the class, which will cover such basics as finding and organizing information, family group sheets and family tree forms, the three types of information to seek, handling conflicting information and general pitfalls of genealogical research.

The free class will meet in the Perry Public Library community room. No registration is required. For more information, call the library at 515-465-3569.

Hours for the Carnegie-based Hometown Heritage will remain the same: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The new phone number is 515-465-7713.

Books awaiting shelving lie in piles on tables in the Carnegie Library Museum, staffed by unpaid volunteers for 10 years. The century-old library will now house the Fullhart/Carnegie Charitable Trust, doing business as Hometown Heritage.


  1. For years and years, a group of passionate volunteers dedicated to keeping the gorgeous Carnegie Library Museum open and accessible to the community has donated their time and historical knowledge to the Carnegie and to Perry. This wonderful agreement between Hometown Heritage and the city of Perry would never have happened without their longtime efforts ensuring that the Carnegie was not a beautiful gem with locked doors. Everyone who has enjoyed the Carnegie or volunteered at the Carnegie for any amount of time in the past or currently should be thrilled with this wonderful result, which allows for the Carnegie to be much more accessible to the community. I look forward to hearing what other great things and services will be offered as the transition continues. THANK YOU to all Carnegie volunteers over the years — each and every one of you should feel as if you had a piece of making this happen — a more visible Carnegie Library Museum that will be more fully utilized and more accessible to all. Thanks to Hometown Heritage, the city of Perry and everyone who helped make this positive move for all be realized.

  2. A few quick clarifications to both current Carnegie volunteers and to the community who participates in the Carnegie Library Museum’s annual Festival of Trees: First, the community has made the Festival of Trees a successful event. Thank you! Therefore, this event will continue to be something to expect over the holidays at the Carnegie. Second, I’m confident that the Carnegie Library Museum and Hometown Heritage will always welcome volunteers! So while there will be a transitional period and a few growing pains that happen with this thrilling move and while all the details of what these changes mean will continue to evolve and to be communicated over time, please rest assured that there will continue to be many ways for volunteers to donate their time and talents to the Carnegie — maybe in their current capacities or maybe in new ways. Stay tuned to hear from Hometown Heritage and the city of Perry as to what these positive changes mean, or contact them at their new number, and follow the blog on their website. Whatever your volunteer role is now, if you want to continue your involvement, I’m sure you’ll be able to continue to contribute going forward. Your time and talents are valued — and Perry needs and thrives upon your efforts.


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