One woman restores pieces of Monmouth Flying Club’s history after fire

MONMOUTH, ILLINOIS  --  After a devastating fire, work is being done to salvage pieces of history at the Monmouth Municipal Airport.

Eight planes were lost, along with many records and photos of The Monmouth Flying Club.

"This is all we ended up salvaging," Archivist Lynn Daw said. "Maybe 1/4 of what was there. It does amaze me what can survive."

Lynn works at Monmouth College and is an Archivist. She and her husband are members of the flying club and lost their plane in the airport fire. Two days after the fire, she decided to pick through the remains, to restore whatever she could.

"We were kind of able to see through a burned out window," Lynn said. "We reached through and grabbed some things. Hopefully, we will keep them kind of as a memento, like an artifact of the club moving forward. These right here are pieces of history of the club."

The remains are pilot logs, photo albums, and newsletters.

"There is just a lot of pride in aviation for the community," Monmouth College Historian Jeff Rankin said. "Charles Lindbergh used to fly through Monmouth. Anytime you lose written history and photographs, it's a tragedy."

Lynn says these are some of the most damaged artifacts she has ever seen. Her work with them will take months.

"At this point, they aren't only charred, but they are also soaking wet," she said. "There is really not a lot I am going to be able to do with them. It's hard. A whole piece of history is gone."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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