A chalk drawing of Jesus discovered in a closet at Bethany Home has administrators there searching for information about the person who created it.
“We just found it in a housekeeping closet,” said Chief Executive Officer Pauline Darling. “I love the picture.”
That was about two weeks ago.
The two pieces of information they have about the drawing are “54” and “Dana,” both located in the bottom left corner of the picture.
Darling believes the “54” refers to the year 1954.
That is the year the former Bethany Children’s Home became the Bethany Home for the Aged and Infirm.
The orphange opened in 1897, and about 250 children were raised in it.
Darling wonders if the person who drew the picture was someone who lived at the orphanage or a family member of one of the first senior citizens who lived in the house, after it became a home for the aged.
“To me, it just can’t be coincidental that it’s dated 1954, the year it changed from being an orphanage to a home for the aged,” Darling said.
Someone who works at Bethany Home told her that at one time the picture hung in the building.
Darling took the drawing to Waupaca River Gallery & Gifts, where owner Steve De Hamer framed it, and plans to place it on a wall in Bethany Home’s chapel.
“It will be the first thing you see when you walk into the chapel,” she said.
She is also searching for information about the location of the corner stone from the former orphanage.
The corner stone, dated 1898, was moved to a “park area” on the campus, after the house was demolished in 1968.
Among the items in the corner stone were a manuscript, written in the Danish language, which told the history of the home, as well as a newspaper published in Neenah, a child’s newspaper, a periodical from the Danish Lutheran Kirkeblad, a child’s catechism by Dr. Martin Luther and six coins.
If someone has information about the drawing or the location of the corner stone, that person may email Darling at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 715-942-1400.