Monday, November 21, 2016
Daily Iowegian – 2 December 2011
CENTERVILLE — Winter is usually the quiet season for the Appanoose County Historical & Coal Mining Museum, but the activity will just be beginning inside the 108-year-old brick walls this winter. After many years of status-quo, the inside of the museum is getting a much-needed facelift and some new, energy efficient equipment.
The museum, which once was the Centerville Post Office, was originally set up in the 1980s by several energetic volunteers including, Opal King, who was very instrumental in the creation of first exhibits in the building. Recently, when her husband Tom passed away, enough money was gifted to the museum to allow for some crucial updates that will make the museum more efficient and attractive.
All of the artifacts are going to be packed up, scooted together, covered up or moved out of the way for the transformation to begin. The unsightly, peeling ceiling will be painted, a new high-efficiency heating and cooling system will be installed. New lighting will be added to provide efficient general lighting and directional lighting to highlight exhibits.
A small mezzanine area will be constructed to provide more exhibit space. Numerous new artifacts are donated to the museum each year, and space is at a premium. The plan is for the new exhibit space to feature all textile related items, including a loom, spinning wheels and yarn winders, quilts and other textile related artifacts. The area beneath the mezzanine will be made into four sections that each represent a room in a home, with each being outfitted with artifacts appropriate to the room. The staircase to the mezzanine level will start in the living room of the “home.”
The research room will be reconfigured as well. Additional shelving will be added, as well as a computer workstation for the new digitized newspaper database. The goal is to make this room more user friendly for the many visitors the area who visit the museum to do genealogical research.
Just this week, the board of the Historical Society is reviewed and accepted bids for these projects and it’s likely that the upgrades will get started in January. December will be a busy month of boxing up artifacts and moving displays out of the way. Currently, the museum is observing its winter hours, which are Wednesday through Friday, from 1:00 to 4:00, which will be the case until December 16. After that, the packing away will begin, with the construction period to follow. The artifacts will not be viewable during this time, so the museum will be temporarily closed until after the renovations are completed. However, curator Lisa Eddy and Experience Works trainee Rebecca True will still be staffing the museum and working on muse
um projects and preparing for the new exhibits, so they will be available during this time if you have questions or need to donate an artifact.“It will be like starting with a blank slate,” according to Lisa Eddy, Curator at the museum. “Once all of the changes are completed, and the artifacts placed in new locations, the museum will reopen with a fresh, new face!” Watch the Iowegian to see when the Grand Reopening might be!