TROY — Visitors to the Lincoln funeral train have a chance to experience Lincoln on Short Street as well as inside the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center.
Managing Partner for Turnstone Financial Tom Kleptz and his wife Melissa have put their collection of Lincoln memorabilia on display at the Hayner Center to go along with the funeral train. Some of the items include a record, Lincoln’s biography that was first written in 1865, Lincoln stamps from 1925 through 1992, and coinage from Lincoln’s campaign, which served as precursors to campaign buttons today.
Kleptz said the collecting was mostly his passion, which started when he was about ten years old.
“We went to Disney Land and I saw an animatronic Lincoln display where he actually stood up and talked,” he said. “It actually caught me then and the bug has accumulated over the years.”
A lot of the items came before marriage and kids, and some came afterward. Kleptz said their kids have all taken the collection to Lincoln Days in elementary school and over the years, they have kept adding to the collection.
Several pieces in the collection are unique.
“From a value standpoint, on the lower shelf there’s some campaign buttons that are actually ten types of Lincoln,” he said. “The most unique thing is a book here that came out in 1865. It’s a transcript of the trial and the papers behind the Lincoln murder.”
He said he found a few of his items from Lincoln auctions and got them from other Lincoln collectors, with his goal being putting together a diverse collection that represented Lincoln and his impact. Kleptz said he felt he achieved that goal with his display.
Troy-Hayner Cultural Center Executive Director Linda Lee Jolly said in addition to the Kleptzs’ collection, Gotham City Brass will be performing on the east side of the Hayner lawn 6:30-8 p.m. Sept. 11 to add to the festivities.
“On Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 12 and 13), there are a variety of historical societies and reenactments taking place on the courthouse lawn,” she said.
2015 marks the 150-year anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination. However, because of the ideal he believed in, Lincoln’s legacy has managed to live on today. Kleptz said it was Lincoln’s ideals that hooked him.
“I think his belief that the nation should stay together is what makes him so influential,” he said. “It’s what I respect about him, that he dedicated his whole presidency to that and died for it.”