Belgian history has a new home

May  02, 2014

      Belgian history has a new home in Moline. The Center for Belgian Culture opened its doors today at a new location, at 16th Avenue and 7th Street. 

      Museum curator, Celie Donahue, says for 46 years, the center was located just two blocks away, at 18th Avenue and 7th Street. But when the owner of the building declared bankruptcy, the center had to find a new place to house the community's local heritage. 

      "I can remember the day when everything up here was owned by a Belgian; the meat markets, the grocery stores, the jewelry stores. Everything was owned by a Belgian. But we still wanted to stay in the area."

      Donahue  says the new location has more space, which makes it easier to showcase many of the articles that had been in storage. She says the exhibits attract visitors from all over. And in recent years, young people have discovered bits of their family history there.

      "All of a studden they remember that grandma made these kind of cookies or grandpa played this game and grandma and grandpa aren't here anymore, so they really wanna know about this. And that's kind of nice."

      The center, now in its 51st year, is open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 1 to 4pm. The monthly Belgian waffle breakfast will be held at Friends Circle Club, just two blocks away. The center will hold a grand opening celebration on May 25th. 

(Photo: Celie Donahue, museum curator).