A place that celebrates a lively local past needs new talents to create a better, exciting future.
The Louisiana Area Historical Museum is looking for "History Helpers" to create displays, organize collections and assist with educational programs.
The two-story facility at 304 Georgia Street will open for the season from 1 to 3 p.m. May 28 and host the first of four Wednesday programs for "Kids of all Ages" at 1 p.m. May 29.
"We’re looking for volunteers who love history and have an hour or two to spend helping us make our collections and our exhibits even better than they are now," said Museum President Judy Schmidt. "We welcome anyone with ideas about how we can make our history shine."
The museum is constantly adding and updating. New this year is a vintage firearms display put together by museum board member Dr. Ned Glenn and a VIP wall that will include local historic figures such as 13th Amendment author John Brooks Henderson, U.S. Speaker of the House Champ Clark, Civil War soldier Samuel Minor and George Trimble, a banker and mining company executive who left a fund that benefits people of all ages.
Interior improvements also have been made and major exterior work that includes new storm windows is being finished.
"We have a lot happening and we want to showcase it," Schmidt said. "It’s an exciting time for the museum, and we would like to have more volunteers and find new ways of giving people who come through our doors a chance to take home lessons about local history. Even if you have 30 minutes, that will be a blessing. We hope people will volunteer for an hour or two."
The museum got its start in 1992 with a handful of history buffs and a tiny room behind the Chamber of Commerce at 107 S. Third. Donations soon came pouring in and the volume was so great that within two years the facility moved to its current location.
For some, volunteering is a chance to contribute and for others it’s the pleasure of knowing they’ve made a difference. Charlotte Perrine has been one of the volunteer coordinators the last five years.
"I enjoy volunteering to see people who are interested in our community and its history," she said.
Linda Beer has been on the board for about eight years. In addition to other museum projects and programs such as the annual Mid-Town Church Walk in December, she enjoys participating in "work days," when exhibits are changed and reorganized.
"I like contributing to the success of the museum in any way I can in order to help preserve the treasures that have been entrusted to its care," Beer said. "There is a great sense of satisfaction in preserving items from the past for the education and enjoyment of all who visit."
The summer programs are always popular attractions. This year’s lineup is:
The museum’s regular hours are 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome. To find out more about volunteering, please call Schmidt at 573-754-5697 or Museum Vice President Brent Engel at 573-754-2022.