Looks like we're going to have sunshine and pleasant temperatures Saturday morning for the Lucas County Historical Society's annual Appreciation Day open house on the museum campus at 123 North 17th Street. Hours will be from 10 a.m. until noon and all are invited.
Boy Scouts will raise the flags on the Bicentennial Flagpole at 10 a.m. and provide other demonstrations during the morning. Hit cider and coffee cake will be served in the Pioneer Barn.
All seven buildings on campus --- Stephens House, Lewis Building, Otterbein Church, Puckerbrush School, Pioneer Log Cabin, Pioneer Barn and Blacksmith Shop --- will be open for tours.
There will be free face-painting for youngsters in Otterbein Church as well as a petting zoo on the south lawn featuring small farm animals. Jerry Book will provide a blacksmithing demonstration near the Blacksmith Shop.
Visitors also will be able to take a look at improvements made on the museum campus this year, including new display cases for the military collection, new carpet and new paint plus total reorganization in the Lewis Gallery and adjacent Library. Once we close for the season after Oct. 1, new lighting will be installed in the gallery and library, completing a year-long project funded by a generous Vredenburg Foundation grant.
In addition, we've repaired and resided the north side of the sprawling Lewis Building and repainted and ordered up a new sign for Otterbein Church --- both projects funded substantially by a South Central Iowa Community Foundation grant.
After the guests have gone Saturday morning, we'll honor museum volunteers --- the folks who keep the place moving forward --- during a luncheon in the Pioneer Barn. All who have volunteered during the year as guides, gardeners, collection aides and in any other capacity are invited.
The museum will close for the season after Saturday's events, but the office will be open Tuesdays during the off-season and tours always may be arranged by appointment.
In addition to relighting the Lewis Gallery and Library during October, we'll begin implementing two projects --- funded by a Coons Foundation grant --- that will improve handicap accessibility. The first will be to pave the graveled parking area immediately east of the Lewis Building ramp. The second will involve installation of new sidewalks and ramps so that guests may access the church, school, cabin and barn more conveniently.