Much has been rumored regarding the ongoing status of the Schminck Museum in Lakeview, operated by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) per Lula Schminck’s will following her death in 1962.
A cherished landmark in Lakeview, it has in recent years befallen upon financial troubles due to several factors.
Recently a meeting between members of the Oregon State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (OSSDAR), overseers of the museum per the Schminck will, visited Lakeview to meet with the museum’s curators and city officials to address grievances and consider options going forward.
In an official statement issued by the OSSDAR, Oregon State Regent Ellen Hopkins shed light on the Schminck’s current status.
“Mrs. Schminck left OSSDAR an endowment, the approximate amount of which is currently $173,000, for ongoing maintenance and operation.
“However, the specific terms of this endowment allow OSSDAR to use only the interest income and not the principal,” Hopkins explained in a statement.
A recent fire marshall inspection brought certain facility issues in question requiring repairs, and in recent years donations from museum visitors have not matched operating costs, causing an annual funding deficit.
“Continued operation of the museum is at a crossroads,” Hopkins continued. “The interest income from the endowment, together with revenues from admissions to the museum in the past covered the operating expenses of the museum. These revenue sources no longer cover expenses and have not for some time, primarily because the interest rates available have dramatically decreased…
“Because of this chronic lack of funds, we have concluded that we cannot continue to operate the museum unless we secure stable funding for it on a long-term basis.”
However, the sun has not yet set on the museum, as the OSSDAR is willing to work with curators and citizens to find possible funding alternatives.
“We have explored in earnest fundraising options that will sustain the museum’s long-term operation,” Hopkins said. “We would welcome any input from the community concerning proposed funding solutions that will allow us to keep the museum open.”