By: Jillian Wilson
Savanna, Illinois has a rich history to show off, but not everyone can get upstairs to see what's in the town's museum.
Now, the community is working together to raise money for a new elevator.
Folks in Savanna say they love checking out the old trains in the town's museum.
So the Historical Society put on a Festival of Trees fundraiser so everyone, wheelchair or not, can enjoy it too.
"It's really exciting. It's actually something that my husband Charlie looks forward to that's how I get him in here because he likes to go up those stairs and look at that train and see how they've progressed," says Deanna Shepherd, a Savanna Resident.
It stands three stories tall, but some folks can't even get up to see the world class model railroad exhibit or the gallery of civil war soldiers that's inside.
The museum can't open because it's not handicap accessible.
That's why local businesses and churches and banks are donating to the cause.
"We want interaction, we want to be able to tell the stories of the people that served in the civil war, people that worked on the railroads. We don't want to just display artifacts," says John LeComte, a board member, Savannah Historical Society.
But the Festival of Trees will only pay for a small portion of the elevator, about five thousand dollars.
The price tag on the elevator? $250,000.
A hefty price that board members say is worth it.
"It's a good investment for Savanna because we want to not only do something for our community, but we want to bring tourists in," says Jean Ferris, Board Member.
For folks like Deanna who live in Savanna, the museum is something she can brag about.
"It gets people outside the community into your town and they see what's in your town and hopefully come back to visit. It's a little bit of camaraderie too between the residents and the business owners and everything to get together and just show off a little bit," says Shepherd.
The Savanna Historical Society is still looking for donations so they can get that elevator and open the museum full time.