Museum adds piece of city’s history
The Lincoln County History and Genealogical Museum and B’nai Shalom Jewish Historical Museum has added a new piece to its collection of items, thanks to the family of former members of the temple.
Calvin Buchman and his brother, Melvin, were raised in Brookhaven and attended the temple throughout their lives and into adulthood. Their father, Elliot, came to America from Russia at age 13.
“Before he died, [Elliot] gave my dad a packet of letters,” said Calvin Buchman’s daughter, Linda Bernstein. “He wanted him to try to find his family in Russia.”
That trip turned into a hand-typed book called “The Buchmans.” It’s the story of Calvin’s journey into his history, complete with photos, letters and stories about the trip.
Bernstein was in town Saturday to donate a copy of the book to the museum, which also contains curtains and a Torah cover made by her mother, Libby, during the few years they lived in Brookhaven before moving to Nashville, Tenn.
“This is a part of my legacy,” she said.
Though she didn’t grow up in Brookhaven, Bernstein remembers coming to visit her grandparents at least once a year.
“I remember watching the trains come in,” she said. “That was the highlight of the day.”
Elliot Buchman owned a men’s clothing store in Brookhaven during the 1950s. He died in 1956. Bernstein’s grandmother, Lillian, moved soon after.
Now, thanks to the book, Brookhaven has a part of the Buchmans’ history.
“It’s not only about the history of the temple. It’s about the history of [Linda’s] family in Brookhaven,” said museum curator Rita Rich. “We’re honored that she agreed to let the museum have it.”
And Bernstein said she was glad to know the book was in the hands of those who would appreciate it.
“My dad worshipped here,” she said. “It means everything to see the temple where he grew up and to see where my grandparents lived.”