Local News

October 31, 2013

Politics of the past: Couple opens museum

Ridlen couple to open new political museum Sunday

A small-scale reproduction of Abraham Lincoln’s head as it looks at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is sitting in the basement of a new museum in Logansport. The green replica of the work by Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, sits at a little more than 3 feet by 2 feet. The piece was found at an auction in Indianapolis and was previously used by a bank in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“Sue just couldn’t resist,” Julian Ridlen said of his wife, laughing.

Sue and Julian Ridlen have been collecting various kinds of political campaign memorabilia for decades — Sue began collecting as a young girl and Julian started when he was in college. Buttons, matchbooks, hats, china, pictures, walking sticks, canes and even a voting machine contribute to a collection they have accumulated.

For instance — not counting duplicates, Sue and Julian Ridlen have 5,000 buttons.

“We laugh and say we merged our collections when we married,” Julian Ridlen said. “Over time we’ve had an interest in creating a political museum.”

The opening of their museum has been a long time coming — eight years to be exact. Sue and Julian Ridlen will finally see the it come to life Sunday.

The inaugural event for Ridlen Political Museum, which calls 417 North St. home, will be 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

People will be able to tour the museum as well as the Cole Clothing Museum, 900 E. Broadway, and Cass County Historical Society, 1004 E. Market St., from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday during the Three Museum Progressive Tour.

The museum tour is another event celebrating Logansport’s 175th anniversary. The tour is $100 per person and will benefit the Cass County Historical Society.

The couple met in Washington while they were both working for Sen. Homer Capehart’s office. Sue is a native of Logansport and Julian was studying in Anderson at the time, so they were both Hoosiers meeting in a Hoosier office, Julian Ridlen said.

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