Challenging Times

The Switzerland County Historical Society has a weekly column in the Vevay Newspapers. I wanted to share this one to give you a perspective on our current situation and plans for moving ahead. Thank you for being a follower of our Facebook page. We love sharing our local history.

April 2020. Zero visitors to the Switzerland County Historical Museum and “Life on the Ohio” River History Museum. April 2019. Our museums had visitors from: Eldorado, AK; San Diego, CA; Chicago, IL; Bloomington, Elletsville, Florence, Indianapolis, LaPorte, Madison, Milan, Patriot, Rossville, Vernon, Vevay, and Vincennes in IN; Arma, KS; Carrollton, Florence, LaGrange, Louisville, Park Hills, and Warsaw in KY; Morgan City, LA; Knob Noster, MO; Blanchester, Cincinnati, Dayton, Lebanon, Logan, Loveland, Mason, Milford, New London, Orrville, and West Chester in OH; Townsend, MA; and Farmington, UT.
Then there was the “Coverlets, Quilts & Samplers, Oh My! textile exhibit that opened April 27th and ended in May that brought visitors from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Oh, my!

No visitors means no donations. We also lost our support funding of $5,000 from the County Council as they strive to manage on a tragically reduced income.

It’s so quiet at the museums now, aside from the Cincinnati Time Recorder wall clock ticking away. We are closed to the public because of the Covid-19 situation, but April had several grant deadlines that had to be met, so work proceeded. We’re hoping to bring you good news on those at another time.

Our spring into summer schedule of events has been cancelled. No “Hay Days” the second weekend in June at the Thiebaud Farmstead or “Back to Basics” Day Camp.

Our 13th annual “Conservators’ Holiday” scheduled for May, where we devote a week to education on conservation and preservation and putting that knowledge to work is being restructured. Besides working on projects at the Thiebaud Farmstead and the museums, we would make an excursion to a historic site and plan in plenty of time for dining and camaraderie. Instead of concentrating our work into a single week, the museum will outline projects that individuals or just a few can work on together, spaced throughout the summer.

No Sophomore Leadership volunteer day in May at the Thiebaud Farmstead, when 20 energetic students accomplished an extraordinary amount of work. The weeding, house cleaning, maintenance, and woodland management projects will be left to historical society members to work on throughout the summer.

Yet the work will be accomplished, somehow. We are seeking volunteers. You can help! We will have masks and gloves for all volunteers and will follow social distancing standards. Give us a call at 812-427-3560 (may have to leave a message) or email us at swcomuseums@embarqmail.com and we’ll get in touch with you.

Our museums will reopen June 13th, daily from noon to 4pm! The Thiebaud Farmstead will be open on Sunday afternoons starting June 14th from 1 to 4 pm. This won’t be like our events with lots of re-enactors and demonstrations. Volunteers will be there to greet you and give you a personal tour.

We are planning a 50th anniversary event later in the summer at the Historical Museum, commemorating when the historical society moved into its present location. Details to follow.

Challenging times. How we respond becomes part of our history. Help make this story have a happy ending.
Martha Bladen
Director

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