“Herb’s career and passion for history gave him the foresight and means to collect a vast amount of local historical items throughout his years,” Lisa explained. “His lifelong dream was to share that history with people through exhibitions and community gatherings. Unfortunately, he was never able to accomplish that during his lifetime. My dream is to ensure that what he collected will be preserved and live on for future generations to come. MHS has proven to be a viable and well-respected organization that has the resources to ensure that Herb’s legacy lives on in our community and my dream is fulfilled.”
Albert “Herb” Wessner was raised in Manchester and graduated from Burr and Burton Seminary and Reich American Auctioneer’s School in Mason City, Iowa. He was a licensed auctioneer and antique dealer and ran the Manchester Flea Market for many years until his death in 2014. Herb was licensed auctioneer and antique dealer and ran the Manchester Flea Market for many years.
“It is with profound appreciation that the Manchester Historical Society has received its largest gift of Manchester memorabilia since its founding in 1897,” said curator Shawn Harrington. “Not since the Harris C. Whipple Collection was donated by his brother John Whipple in 1960 has such a significant assemblage of artifacts, ephemera, photographs, and documents been gifted to MHS.”
According to Harrington, the Harris C. Whipple Collection has been considered the cornerstone of the MHS archives, and with the addition of the A.H. Wessner Collection, the breadth and scope of the MHS collection has deepened beyond what the founders could have imagined 120 plus years ago. “Present and future generations owe a debt of gratitude to Lisa Wessner, Herb’s niece and executor of his estate, for her long and careful consideration of her uncle’s legacy.”