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Museum Happenings July 2023

The dust has finally settled from June’s packed schedule, with a brief break this month before things pick up again. Volunteers have been hard at work performing maintenance around the grounds and organizing various elements of the Society’s collection. Fortunately, a sizeable portion of these tasks take place indoors, out of the heat, as the sweltering days of summer slowly begin to creep upon us.


June saw three successful events spaced throughout the month, with many new faces in attendance. The author talk with Dr. Kevin Patrick was enjoyable and shed some interesting light on the history of White’s Woods. The opening of the Circus Display witnessed over one hundred guests in attendance during the afternoon to view the display for the first time in over a decade. Many more curious viewers have since trickled in to experience the display before it comes down at the end of this month. A fun night at the murder mystery dinner served as a wonderful collaboration between two local non-profits. The event was enjoyable and has the potential to return next year by popular demand.

Dr. Kevin Patrick with Executive Director Jonathan Bogert

This month, the Society welcomes members of the business community for a Chamber Business After-Hours. Refreshments will be served thanks to Levity Brewing, the Homemade Restaurant, and the efforts of the program committee. Guests will be able to view the circus exhibit and learn about the various projects underway at the Society. This serves as a great way to make connections with the local business community and bring to their attention the importance of preserving the county’s past.


Next month, the popular Night at the Museum event returns with a new twist. Guests will be able to learn crafts from a bygone era as various demonstrators take to the grounds. Each unique station will create a path for learning that stretches from the point all the way into Memorial Park as it has done in years past. Visitors may run into the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker and a host of other characters, only this time they will not be out to sea. The event is free and family friendly.


Additional work is being done this month to prepare the Chickering Piano for its unveiling event in September. Tim Anderson is hard at work putting the final touches on the instrument. This will be a multi-year journey that began with broken keys, a filthy case, and various other ailments to the instrument that have been steadily fixed. Mark your calendars now for the unveiling on September 21 and be present to hear the melodies echo through the halls of the Clark House once more.


The Society recently had a sump pump installed in the Clark House basement. RJ Colgan took care of the work in a single day and did an excellent job performing the installation. The pump now sits in the lowest point of the basement and will ensure that the space remains dry, even if heavy rain or a pipe decides to burst. This project is one of the proactive steps the Society is taking to ensure future disasters are averted, and, in the end, saving money, time, and two historic buildings. Battling rising humidity in the Clark House basement will now be slightly easier with a location for the dehumidifiers to drain.


Additional upkeep was recently performed on the AC units in preparation for the hot days ahead, along with stones being leveled at the Veterans Memorial outside of the Armory. After a few years of settling, they were noticeably off-kilter. The wood railing outside the front of the Armory was also repaired by Tim Kochik. The new aluminum fixture should last much longer than its previous counterpart. Considering all the happenings above and the many more that are needed, Buildings and Grounds chair Vince Beatty still needs help with all of the work. Please fill out a volunteer application if you want to be a part of preserving both of the Society’s buildings.


Other volunteers are also hard at work on their own projects. Kathie Turton continues cataloging our family histories in the library, ensuring they are in our system and organizing them for use. Chuck Spence is working on informational signage for military exhibits to better tell the stories behind the artifacts. Donna Meyer and JoAnne Getty continue to clean the Clark House interior, which is important considering the incredible amount of dust the building produces.


The growing list of volunteers on the back of the newsletter is a testament to the care for history within the community. Each person donates their time and skill to meet some of the Society’s many needs. No job is too small or insignificant to warrant gratitude from the HGSIC because it is a team effort of many individuals which keeps the facilities open and history alive in Indiana County.


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