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Posted on Sep 16, 2014

Tammara Green

From the left, Manly Men Gar Pilliar, Rick Smith and Dick Weber move a file cabinet up the ramp and into the office of the Quincy Valley Historical Museum at the Reiman-Simmons House. The men, along with seven other volunteers in the Manly Men group, were honored earlier this month by the Quincy Valley Historical Society and Museum as its 2013 Volunteers of the Year. The dedicated group volunteers monthly, doing odd jobs around the museum.

Museum puts ‘Manly Men’ to work

Dedicated group named Volunteers of the Year

Some real Manly Men can be found in Quincy.

If you drive past the Reiman-Simmons house on F Street, you can find Manly Men mowing the lawn, doing odd jobs or hauling some heavy file cabinets into the Quincy Valley Historical Museum office at the back of the Reiman-Simmons House.

This is where Manly Men Gar Pilliar, Jim Fleming, Rick Smith and Dick Weber were found last Saturday, fueling up with coffee and cookies before bringing a load of filing cabinets over to the museum.

A special group that calls itself the Manly Men, the friends, along with seven other volunteers, give up the first Saturday of each month to keep up with the maintenance required to keep the Reiman-Simmons House and Quincy Valley Historical Museum, which sit on five acres, running smoothly and looking good. The Manly Men was put together by Pilliar, the museum curator. It was Pilliar who came up with the group’s name.

“I didn’t know what else to call the group,” he said. “It suits them. They are the Manly Men of QVHSM.”

The Manly Men feel a connection to the local history here and a commitment to their community.

Pilliar, Fleming, Smith and Weber are joined by Gene Staley, Tom Snyder, Rick Smith, Don Condit, Ken Jacobs, Ron Moen and Evan Landin, who lend their strength and abilities to the upkeep of Quincy’s most treasured historical site, keeping it preserved for future generations to come.

The group was formed five years ago, when there was more work at the museum than one person could keep up with. This would have forced the museum to hire people to work on the grounds, stretching a tight budget that was already thin, Pilliar said.

“We didn’t have a way to get anything done,” he said. “It was born out of necessity, and it turned out to be fun.”

The men joined up for various reasons. Rick Smith started volunteering with the group because his cousin is a genealogist, and later convinced him to collect items for one of the rooms upstairs in the Reiman-Simmons House. Jim Fleming joined the day he helped to drive a Model A truck over to the property.

The group was recently honored by the historical society for its dedication and hard work. The men were named the 2013 Volunteers of the Year at the organization’s annual luncheon, held earlier this month.

But it isn’t all hard work for the men on those Saturdays that they gather.

After they’re done with their honey-do list, they share fellowship and friendship over coffee.

“We are not structured as you can tell,” Pilliar said. “We’re a loose organization.”