There is much talk about building a baseball stadium downtown. Some think this is a good idea and Baseball Plus is trying to sell the idea.

As you pass through Huntington on Rt. 24 on the way to Wabash you pass the Sheets Wildlife Museum. This is a good idea that did materialize as it has been open since July 2005.

Sumner Sheets traveled in 6 continents hunting and fishing and these 205 exhibits were once in his home in Markle.

As you study the Sheets family his mother, Elva Sheets, surfaces as an amazing woman.

Mrs. Sheets was an expert on seashells and wrote a book during the days when you had to write the manuscript long hand or on a typewriter.

Her idea was to build a Colorama, the nation’s first colorful nature center in Fort Wayne on four acres of donated land. The Colorama would have contained her record seashell collection, a large mineral collection from around the world, butterfly collection, and collections of flowers, sand, oil, and glass with flourescent rocks. One worthwhile feature planned was the SEE-SHORE, which would be equipped to bring nature to the blind.

Mayor Harold S. Zeis was sold on the idea after seeing over 12,000 items. Mayor Zeis appointed William Schneider to head a fund raising committee. An oil company in Houston, Texas offered a museum for the Colorama but Mrs. Sheets wanted to keep it local where such things are rarely if ever seen. The Glenbrook Center ran an advertisement 20 times in the newspapers asking each to give one dollar so the Colorama could be completed.

Mrs. Floyd Pickell’s name also surfaced as a person involved in this project. The Nature Colorama was incorporated and would also include 15,000 photographs of snowflakes as no two of them are alike.

Well, like I said before, sometimes good ideas never materalize, and that’s the way some people saw it in the 1970s.

The Waynedale News Staff

Denver Howard

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