This week marks the end of the Virden Pioneer Home Museum for the 2018 season. On behalf of the museum staff I would like to thank the community for their enthusiastic support for the museum this year.
We have had over 400 visitors with a balance between local residents and visitors from away. It is only due to the support of the public that small, local museums can continue to operate. This season has been an exciting one for the museum and we hope the improvements to the museum and lessons we've learned in 2018 help to make 2019 even more successful.
Visitors to the museum this year will doubtlessly have seen the new white picket fence enclosing the yard. Once again we would like to thank the Town of Virden for removing the old fence and for putting up the new one.
We very much feel that improvements to the exterior of the museum help to ensure that it continues to serve as a place to learn about local history, but also as an attractive landmark.
Exterior improvements continued with a new coat of stain on the boardwalk and our park benches, making them appear good as new. Once again the Town assisted the museum by loaning us two picnic tables and many visitors made use of the seating area we had set up on the grounds.
The staff was occupied not only with the outside of the museum, much time was spent accessioning artifacts, carrying out research requests and setting up artifact displays. Of course the greatest portion of the staff's efforts was concerned with conducting tours.
The first few weeks of the season, the museum staff spends hours familiarizing themselves with the collection and local history. Conducting interesting and informative tours to the public is our first priority. This learning process is ongoing and as the season progressed each staff member became an expert on the areas of the museum that particularly grabbed their interests.
On Aug. 10 the museum held its annual Heritage Day fundraiser; activities included a barbecue lunch, live music, photo booth and a variety of lawn games. Throughout the day our staff also conducted tours in period costume.
We would like to thank our volunteers, board members and the local businesses that helped to ensure that our Heritage Day fundraiser was a success.
Though the museum will be closed for regular hours starting from Aug. 31, special off-season tours can be arranged by contacting the museum.
Brett Bambridge has been summer curator at Virden’s Pioneer Home Museum.