Museum Spring Tea
April 29, 2015

The Grand River Historical Society posted successful attendance for the museum's spring tea on Sunday. Seventy visitors signed the guest book, and several others also attended. The museum is open year-round, from 1 until 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

C-T Photo

Expanded Rail, Courthouse Displays Part of Museum
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
April 23, 2015

CAPTION: A rail history exhibit is among new features at the Grand River Historical Society Museum.

C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

The public took a step back in time by attending Grand River Historical Society's spring tea at the museum on Sunday, April 26. Cookies and punch were served. The event is an annual formal welcome to the museum's new season. New features are exhibits of the Livingston County Courthouse and an area devoted to the rail history in Chillicothe. Both displays include murals by local artist Kelly Poling.

The courthouse mural depicts the actual courtroom of the 100-year-old Livingston County Courthouse and gives visitors the judge's view of the courtroom. The building itself is beaux art design and modernistic in that everything flows, according to museum Curator Pam Clingerman. "There are no angles so everyone can see everything," she said. "The truth can't be hidden behind angles." A storyboard shows the evolution of the earliest courthouse of Livingston County and has a piece of a log from what is believed to be the original log cabin that was the house of Joseph Cox, Clingerman said. "That residence was designated the temporary seat of justice for the county," she noted. The piece of log measures about 30 inches in length and is notched at the end, most likely a piece that would have gone into the structure's corner.

The railway exhibit depicts a railroad station, comprised of a waiting room, ticket counter and baggage room. The ticket counter, new to the museum display, came from an old display at the Chillicothe McDonald's restaurant. The restaurant once had a railroad theme; and when it was taken down, McDonald's donated the ticket booth to the museum. A mural depicts the outside of a train station with a train stopped at the station platform.

A fairly new feature, although having been in operation for a year, is the Grand River Museum cell phone tour. There are 47 opportunities throughout the museum to dial a number using a cell phone and hear the history and description about a certain display. A person does not have to be at the museum to access the feature, according to the curator. "If someone is in the nursing home, or can't get out to visit the museum, they can dial the number and have a tour of the museum by phone," Clingerman said. "Or, people may not have time to see everything at the museum; so, they can call the number and learn more even after they have left."

Clingerman said that exhibits are continually updated and she encourages people to come back and visit often. Currently, a new roof is being installed on the museum.

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