Board of Directors
The Graham Historical House Museum is owned and operated by the City of Momence. The Graham Historical House Board is appointed by the Mayor and approved by the council to oversee all aspects of maintaining and operating the Graham Historical House and Museum.
Nancy Porter is a lifelong resident of the Momence and Grant Park area. She is married to Ron Detmar and she has one son, Tyler. Nancy has been employed at Van Drunen Farms for 21 years and works as a packaging purchaser. She is a graduate of Grant Park High School, and attended The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online for Graphic Design.
Nancy's interests in Momence history include helping with the revitalization and preservation of the Graham Historic House Museum, as well as researching the history behind other historical homes in the area. She also enjoys designing and creating historical window displays in the downtown buildings of Momence. In the past, Nancy has been involved with Main Street Momence and was a former board member of the Momence Historical House in 2006.
Richard (Rick) Byrne
Richard (Rick) Byrne was born in Chicago shortly after the end of WWII and currently resides in Momence. After serving 4 years in the US Navy, he married the girl next door and had three children: 2 girls and a boy. He now also has two granddaughters. Rick studied business management at Benedictine University when it was known as Illinois Benedictine College (IBC). After retiring from Commonwealth Edison, Rick owned and operated 3 companies. He is a member of the board of directors of Good Shepherd Manor, a residential community in Momence, IL for developmentally disabled men. Rick’s involvement with Good Shepherd Manor has afforded him the opportunity to become familiar with Momence and its people. Momence has a fascinating history and the Graham House is an integral part of that history. He wants to help Momence return to its historical prominence, and the restoration of the Graham Historical House is a good start toward its rebirth.
Beth and her husband Larry moved to Momence in October of 2016. She and Larry have four grown children and six grandchildren. She is former director of the Illinois Association of Housing Authorities, a membership organization representing all 110 housing authorities in Illinois. In that role, she worked extensively with preservation commissions and historic groups to preserve and protect landmark housing in Illinois. In that role, the Governor appointed her to the Illinois Affordable Housing Commission, where she helped to set policies favorable to low-income residents. She received the highest honor for a person in the public housing field from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the 90's for her work with other housing authority directors in re-writing the outdated Chapter 67 ½ of the Illinois State Statutes. After many years of work encouraging neighborhoods to work together and share best practices and resources, she was chosen as the historic first director of the umbrella group representing 32 neighborhood associations in Bloomington-Normal Illinois. She has also served as neighborhood association President for several neighborhoods in Illinois, and was a member of the Board of the 8-state regional council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. Beth has also served as Executive Director of the Bloomington Kiwanis Club, and has held many officer positions in local charitable and educational organizations such as Odyssey of the Mind, League of Women Voters, and more. She most recently was Director of Evangelization for a parish in Texas with a congregation of over 25,000. She is a certified faith-based Living Your Strengths Advisor, and also presents seminars on Strengths locally. Beth and Larry are members of St. Patrick's parish in Momence, where she is a Bible study leader and the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) teacher. In her spare time, Beth volunteers for the Mt. Airy Little Red School House in Momence, the Friends of Conrad Park, St. Patrick’s Parish, and Main Street Momence.
Larry and his wife, Beth, moved to Momence in 2016. Larry is retired after 32 years from the Boy Scouts of America, having served in fundraising as a Director of Development and Marketing in Fort Worth TX, Milwaukee WI and Peoria IL. He has also served as an internal fundraising consultant for the national BSA organization, supporting nearly 300 councils across the country in their development efforts. Larry's community involvement has included: member, Princeton IL Optimist Club; Board Member, Ottawa IL Kiwanis Club; Delegate, Illinois Attorney General’s Assembly on Alcohol and Drug Abuse; Board Member, Bloomington IL Kiwanis Club; McLean County IL Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program (inaugural class), Chairperson, Community Relations Committee, Bloomington IL Vision 2000; member, Planning Commission, City of Bloomington IL; City Council Alderman, City of Bloomington IL.; Board Member, Lieutenant Governor, Milwaukee Kiwanis Club; Board Member, Dallas Area Chapter, Association of Fundraising Professionals; Board Member, Fort Worth Metro Chapter, Association of Fundraising Professionals; Presenter, International Conference, Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Larry and Beth chose Momence for work but opted to enjoy retirement instead. "It's a friendly community with great people and lots of opportunity. It also provides great access to our extended families in southern Indiana and our grandchildren in southern Wisconsin".
Eileen Crooks grew up in Tinley Park, IL, then moved to Bourbonnais, where she married Bruce. They have a grown daughter, Heather. Eileen and Bruce bought their current home in Momence in 2005, after not only falling in love with their 1900 house, but with the community of Momence. She is retired after 20 years working in, owning, and operating a full-service photography studio, along with other assorted jobs over the years. She currently designs and maintains the City of Momence, the Momence Police Department, and the Graham Historical House websites for the City, as well as Main Street Momence, and two commercial websites, Sensei Steve's Karate Center and Art's Landscaping. Eileen and Bruce were the Momence Chamber of Commerce Citizens of the Year in 2016. Eileen volunteered for Main Street Momence on the promotion committee for several years, and still does occasionally.
She believes in the preservation of Momence history and the process of revitalization. The Graham Historic House is a great example of what can be accomplished when individuals, organizations, and local businesses come together for the good of the community.