|The Grand River Historical Society Museum
Annual Spring Tea
May. 5, 2014
C-T Photo / Courtnie Cranmer
The Grand River Historical Society Museum hosted the annual
'Spring Tea' open-house Sunday afternoon, May 4,
2014. Visitors observed many items in the museum,
including this linotype machine that had been part of the
Constitution-Tribune many years ago.
Ready for New Season; Open House is Sunday
Calli Price, CT
A huckster wagon is the newest edition of the
Grand River Historical Society Museum. Mike Williams built the wagon after
coming across wagon running gear. He said he decided to do research on the
1900s-era wagon and wanted to build one, finding the rest of the parts to
make the wagon at yard/rummage sales. The wagon is on long-term loan from
the Livingston County Steam and Gas Association.
C-T Photo / Courtnie
This Sunday, the Grand River Historical Society Museum will open its doors
for the annual spring open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Among the historical
exhibits, visitors will also see some new changes and additions.
The cell phone tour is
also up and running. Visitors of the museum can dial 660-240-3001 on their cell phones and
follow instructions. A recording by Museum Curator Pam Clingerman will be heard, and explanations of each
exhibit will be provided. Not only is this accessible to people actually
visiting the museum, but people can call the number and listen to the
exhibit descriptions from the comfort of their own home. Clingerman said
the cell phone tour was completed near the end of
February and is a good addition to the museum.
Sunday's open house will also notice the refurbished WWI,
WWII and Korean War cases. The lights in the cases have now been filtered
to prevent UV damage to the artifacts. New signage and new
mannequins have also been installed in the cases. Chillicothe High School students are in
the process of working on a WWI diorama depicting the trenches and trench
warfare, which will hopefully be done and in place at the museum by
The Law and Order exhibit has been redone, and
several other exhibits have been moved around to better the
historical organization of the exhibits.
Clingerman said the purpose of the open house is to draw people
in from the community and gain their interest. "We just want people to come out and support the museum and enjoy what is
a little gem in the community," Clingerman said. She added that though museum attendance is something that is always up and
down, it has probably tripled in the past four years.
"In the last month we've had way over 100
people," Clingerman said. "That's really great for a small
community." Part of the increase in attendance lately stems from the bread slicer
currently on loan from the Smithsonian Institute which was installed in
the museum in July of 2013. "Last week, people came
in from Kansas, and they walked in the door and the first thing they said is,
'Where's the bread slicer?'" Clingerman recalled.
"They had seen the documentary on television and so they came
over just to see the bread slicer. They toured the whole museum and
thought it was amazing."
museum's attendance has gone up lately, Clingerman said that
they are in the process of talking with MoDOT about creating new signs
advertising the museum and its location due to its location and the many
people that get lost on their way to it. "Our signs say
the best kept secret in Chillicothe," Clingerman laughed.
"So many people come and say they had no idea there was a museum in
Chillicothe and they'd lived here forever. We have our own signs, and we
take those out and put them up when the museum is open, but
The Grand River Historical Society Museum began as just the Grand River
Historical Society that met on the third floor of the library. Its first
meeting was held Nov. 16, 1954. Later, the main part of the museum, which
was originally the garage of Chillicothe Business College, was donated to
the historical society. The meetings moved to that location, and the
historical society could store their historical donations there. In 1988
the museum added on the second and third exhibit halls to the main
building, and the annex was added at a later date. Originally the museum
was only open on Saturdays and Sundays from April through October. About two years ago, Clingerman said they
began opening the museum on Wednesday afternoons and that the past year they have kept
the museum open year-round. The museum is now open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4
p.m. with the exception of holidays. Clingerman said that even on days
when the museum isn't scheduled to be open, if people ring the
doorbell wanting to visit the museum and she is there, she will let them in.
The open house this Sunday will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. with light
refreshments served. For more information on museum events and exhibits,
contact the museum at 660-646-1341.