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Brunk Morgan Horse Museum Focus of Popular Public Television Program


ROCHESTER, IL - The Brunk Morgan Horse Museum, 7206 East Lake Services Road was recently featured on WSEC channel 8’s program “Illinois Stories.” Those contributing to the moving program, that featured the history of the Brunks in Central Illinois and their role in the history of the Morgan horse, include Brunk family member Lois McDermand; Brunk Morgan Horse Museum President, Judy Kjellander; Ruth Parkinson, inductee in to the Morgan Horse Hall of Fame at the American Morgan Horse Association's 2006 convention in Lexington, Ky.  Ruth is a founding member and former President of the Brunk Morgan Horse Museum. And Margaret “Margie” Van Meter, 2005 Cecil Brown Sportsmanship Award winner and driver of Southbrook Ultimatum the 2000 Ladies Classic Pleasure Driving World Champion. Margie is also an avid supporter of the Brunk Museum.


In 1995, a group of horse enthusiasts with the dream of building a horse museum in the Midwest gathered to select a location for the museum. The George Brunk Farm, located six miles southeast of Springfield, Ill., was selected because of the family's love and history of fine horses and its historical background. The farm, founded in 1824, remains in the family today. The Museum consists of five acres including the Brunk home (recently partially destroyed by fire), as well as the large barn that was completed in 1829, and a visitor's center. The materials for the original buildings were harvested from the limestone quarry and walnut forests on the farm. The Brunk Museum provides a look back to a time when good horseflesh and family farming were the backbone of the beautiful central Illinois heartland and to promote the Morgan Horse through presentations of his past, present and future.


Despite the arson, the shell of the home remains historically important, as even more of the architectural integrity has been exposed.  Plans are underway to determine how to provide an even more enriching experience for the public as the Museum board continues their quest to restore the remaining remnants of the home. 


The Brunk Farmstead was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 17, 1999, and is a tax-exempt 501-C-3 charity. Admission is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted and can be sent to the Brunk Morgan Horse Museum, C/O Lois McDermand, Secretary, 7221 Lake Service Road, Rochester, IL 62563.


The one half hour television program will be aired on the Brunk Morgan Horse Museum on PBS station WSEC channel 8 during the month of April.  Taping by Mark McDonald and his crew was completed on Tuesday, March 28, 2006DVD’s of the program will be available.  For further information about the Brunk Museum see the web site.  For a DVD, contact Judy Kjellander at (217) 793-0670 or


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