Watson Museum undergoing facelift

WATSON — The Watson and District Heritage Museum is undergoing a transformation in both its design and how it displays artifacts.

“We’re trying to evolve into a rotating display system plus bringing in exhibits on loan,” said Judy Schmidt, chair of the museum board.

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Schmidt said having permanent displays resulted in locals not feeling it necessary to come back. The new system will allow people to see something new each time they visit the museum.

“We’re trying to rejuvenate the publicity of the museum to bring the public back into it,” Schmidt said.

These new rotating displays are planned to be done along local themes such as sports teams and clubs, veterans, merchants, agriculture, cultural and religious diversity, as well as community development.

Other changes planned for the museum include restoring the original wood floor, repairing and painting the wallpapering, improving lighting and remodeling the displays.

The museum volunteers will also be researching and writing stories related to certain items, displays and special events.

“As you view the murals and the artifacts, you get a little bit of the history, something that’s learnable to inform you what that’s about.”

The planned completion date for everything is April 2020.

“We want to open the museum in May to September, and then open on certain specified weekends whether it’s Remembrance Day or Christmas to have the museum easily accessible throughout the year.”

Recently, the museum began to begin the work on dismantling the main floor.

“The board, we thought we need more help with this, so just in the last week or two we had a come and go event,” Schmidt said.  “We were doing a volunteer drive calling it, ‘Friends of the Museum’ hoping we could accumulate a few more volunteers to help us with the whole project.”

She said the drive was successful, with about 20 to 25 community volunteers stepping up.

“We would ask that anybody that’s interested in helping through volunteerism or funding would be greatly appreciated.”

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