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Preserving history, artifacts goal of society

There are more than 19 individually themed museums and more than140 affiliate museums across the world. They even host travelingmuseums – a few that have visited our state and town.

My family and I visited the Smithsonian for the first time aboutfive years ago. With all there is to see in D.C, we chose themuseums. We spent nearly all day visiting each different themedmuseum and we still didn’t see all there was to see. It wasawesome.

The greatest characteric of a history museum is that they provide awide view of our past and they furnish an educational opportunityfor all that visit them.

The Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society is currentlyputting together a museum for Brookhaven and Lincoln County. It’s afirst for Brookhaven and something I feel was sorely needed.

We have a military museum that honors our county’s soldiers, but wehaven’t had a museum for the sole purpose of preserving our area’shistory. We do now – almost.

We have a building. We have people willing to volunteer their timeand efforts to organize a museum. Now all we need is some operatingcapital and artifacts relevant to Lincoln County’s history.

On Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., the society isgoing to open the doors to our new building, the former JewishTemple, at the corner of West Chickasaw and South Church Street, tothe public. We’re hoping you will go through your closets, outbuildings and attics and find items that may have once belonged toyour parents, grandparents or great-grandparents that tell thehistory of our community.

We’re also looking for churches and families to bring us copies oftheir histories, as well as any maps and histories that may havebeen made of the town and any of the buildings and/or oldbusinesses.

By preserving the history of our county, we’re passing on ourlegacy to our children, grandchildren andgreat-grandchildren.

Working at a newspaper I see history every day and it’s beingrecorded, preserved and archived. I get dozens and dozens of callsevery year from people looking to reconnect or do research on theirfamilies. It may be by way of an old obituary or a mom who’scutting out an honor roll to put into her child’s scrapbook. It’sall history and someone is preserving it. The society is doing thesame thing, just on a much bigger scale.

Having a museum in Lincoln County has been a long time coming and adream of many of our citizens. A lot of our surrounding counties,many much smaller than Lincoln County, already have museums andcollections of items.

This past week local historian and genealogist Bonnie Cole donatedto the museum its first collection – The Bonnie Cole Collection.Miss Bonnie is a walking history lesson and the collection she hasso graciously given the society will preserve her legacy and thoseof a lot of families in the area. Once it is catalogued and themuseum is opened to the public the collection will be available forall to see.

I know there are lots of collections out there. If you’re willingto share, we’re anxious to see what you have.

Starting today in the Lifestyles’ section is an advertisement forthe society. If you have an item that you think could go into themuseum bring it by on Saturday, Feb. 20, and let us take a look. Ifyou have questions, there are phone numbers you can call or you cancall or e-mail me here at the newspaper.

The museum is not only a great historical value for the county, butit’s a great educational opportunity for our children and a touristattraction.

And while we’d like to think that the society has trunks and trunksof money to set up the museum and provide upkeep, we don’t.

If you’d like to make a donation we’re taking those, too. We’d alsolove to have you as a member. Membership is $20 a year. Aside fromthe museum we also hold several informative programs a year, whichare open to the public.

I hope to see you at our next meeting. Watch the calendar ofevents. We’ll have a meeting real soon and I hope to see you at themuseum on Feb. 20.

And how was your week?

Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer can be reached at The DAILYLEADER at (601) 833-6961 ext. 134, by e-mail attbrewer@dailyleader.com or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551,Brookhaven MS 39602.