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Look What’s New

Part of the track which carried the money boxes to and from the upstairs office of the Weiler Department Store were recently donated by the John Jay Center for Learning, which now occupies the building.  John Goodrich and Emily Goodrich Roberts, of J & P Custom Plating, restored the pieces free of charge.  We thank the staff of the John Jay and the Goodriches for this donation.  The pieces are now displayed in a refurbished showcase which came from Weilers.

Recent visitors at the museum were Alan Hall and his sister, Delilah Hall Beaumont.  They are descendants of General John Peter Cleaver Shanks and brought early surveyor”s equipment and a variety of toys which have come down through the Shanks family.

Food Pantry

Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or monetary donations for the Food Pantry which is sponsored by the Trinity United Methodist Church.


Connect to JCHS

The Jay County Historical Society website,, is currently being revised, thanks to a grant from the Portland, Foundation.  Keep watching for changes being made by Craig Frazee and his staff at Dynamic Business Solutions.

Are you a Facebook user?  Like our page, “Jay County Historical Society,” and you will continue to see our posts.  We try to keep you posted about Open House events, Program Meetings, etc.  There are also several photos of the museum displays.

Shirts for Sale!!!

 Cool Cayenne Authentic Printed Shirt Company, located in Muncie, recently closed a second store which they had operated in Portland.  The Portland store had produced a variety of shirts and caps for the eight former Jay County high schools.  While in business, they had given a percentage of their sale of these shirts to JCHS.  Upon closing, they donated their extra school shirts to JCHS to sell.

Shirts are available at bargain prices for each school on a limited basis.  If interested, contact the museum to see if we have your school, size, and shirt type.  When these are gone, they are gone!  The items are priced as follows:


                                                                        T-Shirts  (short)………$5

T-Shirts (short sleeve): Redkey-1 medium; Pennville-1 small, 1 XL; Poling-1 medium, 1 large; Jay County Hospital-1 XL.

T-Shirts (long sleeve): Pennville-1 small, 1 medium

Sweatsirts: Redkey-one 2X; Dunkirk-1 medium; Poling-1 medium; Jay County Hospital-4 small.

Questions about the availability of the items above will only be answered by phone, 726-7168 or a visit to the museum.  

 Look What’s New!

Items are continuously coming into the museum.  Although not all can be put on display immediately, we will try to highlight some which are.

Four members of the Indiana World Organization of China Painters with Jay County ties currently have some of their work on temporary load for a display at the museum.  This display is located in the cases in the kitchen.  Those displaying china items ate Portland residents Jane Spencer and Alice Paxson and Geneva residents Larry and Pat Elick, who formerly lived in Portland.

Received recently is a 1931 Dunkirk High School senior class composite.  The Portland High School class of 1968 has also donated a class composite of their 174 members to the museum.  These, as well as composited from other county schools, draw much attention as visitors search for photos of family members and friends.

Also on display is a painting by Charlene George, recognized artist and was an art teacher at Judge Haynes Elementary School, and other paintings done by Harry Leonard and his daughter-in-law, Vicki Leonard.   A sampling of model cars which were collected by the late Ralph May and portraits by early Jay County photographers are also still on display.

Another recent acquisition is a bed which belonged to Judge and Mrs. Emerson McGriff.  Judge McGriff was a Judge of the Circuit Court when the Jay County Courthouse was built in 1916.

A showcase in the Domestic Arts Room holds the thimble collection of the late Linda Garringer.  It reflects Linda’s extensive travels and gifts from friends.



Museum Hours

The Jay County Historical Museum will be closed on Mondays.  

The museum is open from Tuesday through Friday at 10 to 4:00 PM. 

Monday and Saturday the museum is open by chance or by appointment.