There’ll be a little "new" to go with the "intriguing" when the Louisiana Area Historical Museum opens for the season Tuesday, May 28.
Several attractions have been added to the facility at 304 Georgia Street, and more will be unveiled as the year progresses.
One of the most visible changes will greet patrons as they walk in. The museum has created a Very Important People Wall featuring folks who have contributed significantly to area history.
Those showcased are 13th Amendment author John Brooks Henderson; Confederate Civil War soldier Samuel Minor; businessman and philanthropist George Trimble, who left a fund that still benefits local residents; and Father John Cummings, a priest at Louisiana’s St. Joseph Catholic Church who defied the 1865 "loyalty oath" in a case that went to the Supreme Court.
Others to be added include May Birkhead, who reported on the Titanic disaster, and 1912 presidential candidate and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Champ Clark.
"It’s important to show our local history and some of the people who have had an impact on our community, our state and our country," said Museum President Judy Schmidt. "They were important local citizens, and we need to keep their achievements and memories alive."
Another new item is a restored, lighted Bulova clock that once could be seen at Strother’s Jewelry Store, which was at 401 Georgia. A display of vintage weapons contributed by Dr. Ned Glenn will go up soon. Plaques also will be placed honoring retired museum president Martha Sue Smith, as well as contributors Edward Glenn, Ethel Glenn Fry and Obie Fry.
One of the lesser-visible changes are new storm windows that have been added to the building. The work was done by Joe Owens and funded using a building grant from the Louisiana Historic Preservation Association.
Mary Ellen Griffith’s donation of her husband’s World War II Army uniforms and her nurse’s uniform will be displayed in the front windows in time for Veterans Day in November.
In addition, existing collections have been revamped and updated, including changes to the Stark Brothers and Hercules rooms.
"Our new displays will appeal to a wide variety of visitors," Schmidt said. "We really have a lot of interesting new things to see. We encourage people to come and check us out. There is no admission fee."
The museum is staffed by volunteers and is open from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
All ages are welcome at the museum’s weekly programs, which begin May 29 with "My Hands, the Art of Making Plaster Handprints" by Eileen and Chuck Hoffman. The other programs are:
June 5: "Mammals" presentation by Karen Armstrong of the Missouri Department of Conservation
June 12: "Fun With Science" by Frank and Donna Salter
June 19: "President Lincoln" by Greg and Edna Dolbeare