Monday, June 20, 2016

"Peanut Day" at the museum Tuesday evening

We've tried several times to rebrand "Peanut Day," the Lucas County Historical Society's annual June open house at the museum, 123 North 17th Street. And it's never worked. Peanut Day it's always been and, apparently, Peanut Day it will remain in the hearts and minds of members and friends.

In any case, this year's open house will be held from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. All seven buildings on campus will be open and staffed and there should be plenty of time to look around.

In case you've forgotten, there's the Stephens House, an aspirational 1911 mixed-masonry house built by contractor A.J. Stephens for his family; and the Lewis Building, which doubles as historical society headquarters and contains in addition to the commons room and office three large galleries, the library and a fourth gallery, the Swanson Room, filled with equipment ranging from a threshing machine and vintage tractor to our Model A Ford, with separate entrance off the patio.

Also --- Otterbein Church, Puckerbrush School, the Pioneer Log Cabin, Pioneer Barn and Blacksmith Shop.

We'll be serving peanuts fresh-roasted in the 1888 roaster originally housed at Piper's Grocery and ice water in the Mine Gallery, just off the patio.

In addition, Dan Christenson will be bringing models of Lucas County landmarks, including May school and two vintage Lucas business buildings. These will be displayed in the barn-patio area.

And don't forget the gardens --- flowers on the upper campus; vegetables in the heirloom garden at the foot of the big hill.

This will be an opportunity to take a look at an ongoing project --- rejuvenation of the Lewis Gallery and the Library, a project funded by a major grant from the Vredenburg Foundation. The walls have been repainted, crown molding installed, new carpet put into place and most of the artifacts returned to rearranged spaces.

We have not, however, had time to rehang the photographs and art work that ordinarily line the walls of the library and are displayed on the walls of the main gallery. That's the next step.

We've been working hard since the arrival of four new cases during early June on pulling the military section together --- much of what we want to display will be on display Tuesday. These photos are of the south end of that section. But, interpretation is a little shaky right now. That will improve as the summer progresses, so by autumn we hope to be in a high state of organization again.

Everyone's welcome. Everything's free.

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