By far the oldest Columbus historical organization, the Columbus Historical Society (CHS), was formed in 1972, which makes it 50 years old, whereas our First Aero Squadron Foundation (FASF) wasn’t organized until 2007.
While the two sister groups both focus on the historical impact of the March 9, 1916 raid by Pancho Via on the once thriving border city of Columbus, only the CHS actually has a popular operational Museum facility, affectionately called the “Depot Museum.”
Why the “Depot?” Simply because it is housed in the old Columbus Railroad Station building. Additionally, the principal focus of the FASF is primarily on the aviation aspect of the 1916 event, whereas the CHS addresses the entire raid episode and its following “Punitive Expedition” aftermath – – – and all other aspects of the history of Columbus.
On this special occasion of the Historical Society’s 50th Anniversary year, the Village of Columbus designed a hand-crafted Commemorative Plaque to honor one of its two still living founders, Anne Marie Beck, who along with her late husband, Ed Beck, Jr., actually organized the CHS and then acquired and subsequently fully restored the run-down old city train depot into the charming facility it is today. Outgoing President Stan Stevens did a recent makeover of the entire sales floor area, so the Museum is quite an attractive asset 106 years after the infamous Raid on Columbus.
You might recognize Ms. Beck’s name because she is also a long-time member of the FASF Board of Advisors.
Today the Depot Museum is one of the Village’s most popular tourist attractions. If you are ever fortunate enough to pass through or visit Columbus, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Depot. The large quantity and quality of its exhibits will more than make your visit worth the time. It is regularly manned by well-trained Docent volunteers, and also has an interesting array of Raid-era memorabilia and other related artifacts for sale – – – tax-free.
Every year, the CHS officially conducts a solemn ceremony in memory of the 16 American deaths caused by Pancho Villa’s invading marauders. This coming year the event will take place on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM at the CHS Rotunda just South of its Depot Museum.
While at the Depot Museum you might want to join the organization since membership is very reasonable: $5 for individuals, and just $8 for a family.
To see any of the below photos full-size and in high resolution, simply click on them.