The Fayette County Museum Board of Trustees recently held their annual organizational meeting. One of the topics open for discussion was membership.
The Board of Trustees has been making great strides in refurbishing the inside of the house in order to keep the history of Fayette County viable and accessible to everyone interested.
The Historical Society was formed in 1948 and it owns and operates, under the direction of the Board of Trustees, the house in which thousands of articles of the history of this county are stored. The Museum is the largest repository of Fayette County artifacts. It is open most Saturday and Sundays from May through August. This past year, open hours were extended to some evening hours. The number of visitors who came to tour the Museum exceeded the expectation of the Board. Evening hours will be part of the 2016 calendar.
You will notice as you drive by the house, that it is under repair again. Last year, all of the windows on the first floor were refurbished. This time around, all the windows on the second floor and those in the attic are being refurbished. The Victorian Italianate house, built in 1875, has a climate control problem – extreme cold in the winter with no humidity or hot air and plenty of humidity during summer months. These conditions are not good for those unique and rare items that are displayed or stored in the Museum. By refurbishing the windows it is hoped those conditions will be more manageable. The last project for the house will be to install air conditioning units on both floors with the goal of maintaining an even climate throughout the house thus eliminating the climate control problem. The Board of Trustees believes these improvements will not only benefit the artifacts, but also those who visit the Museum.
The Board is also collaborating with other entities within the County (Boy Scouts, Carnegie Library, Fayette County Veterans) to provide varied programs for the community. Also in the works are a walking tour of the historic downtown and a driving tour of historic places in the county.
The Museum’s income is generated from memberships, donations and grants. Aside from the historic value, the biggest benefit to the community is that memberships enables free admission into the Museum. The income generated from memberships also goes toward the maintenance and repair of the house and operations of the Museum. A few years ago a leak in the roof was found and repaired. However, there was hidden water damage that was only recently discovered with the help of one of the corbels in the library smashing to the floor. When the Museum opens this season, not only will visitors be able to see the refurbished windows they will be inside a newly refurbished library as well. Here is a good place to mention that the library houses an extensive research area that is available for personal use, for school projects or thesis papers. It also contains year books for both school districts in the county.
Members of the Historical Society are entitled to a 10 percent discount on all items in the Museum Gift Gallery and will receive the Museum’s newsletter which is mailed three times a year. All members are also invited to the annual meeting of the membership held each November.
The Board is also working on outside experts presenting topics of interest to its members. There were several outside speakers at the Museum in 2015 talking about railroads in Fayette County. The Board members have put together an extensive Speaker’s Bureau list of topics and some of these presentations will be available during the coming summer months. All of these activities will be included in the newsletter prior to being made available to the general public.
The Board of Trustees for the Museum is working hard to keep the house and the artifacts housed within displayed in a pleasing manner. The museum is considered a destination. It is the hope of the Historical Society that you will want to be part of this endeavor.
Membership for one year is $20 for an individual, $35 for a family, $75 for a corporate sponsorship which includes signage inside the Museum and $120 for a patron which also includes signage inside the Museum. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Historical Society and supporting the Museum, please send names(s), address, phone and e-mail information to: Fayette County Museum, 517 Columbus Avenue, Washington C. H., Ohio, 43160.
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