Museum hosting satellite museums around county


The Dubois County Museum wants to give people more opportunities to see its artifacts.

But people who work may not be able to bring their families to the museum during the hours it is open.

“We are looking to have our artifacts accessible to them and their families,” Museum Director Shirley J. Ray said. “The museum has somewhat limited hours. So we’re doing a couple different things to reach those audiences that can’t always come to us.”

One thing is having satellite exhibits so that artifacts can be on display in locations outside the museum. The other is having the museum open for an evening each month.

The museum’s first satellite exhibit, the “Roaring Twenties,” is displayed at the Ferdinand Branch Library. The exhibit features items from the museum’s collection and artifacts on loan from Dubois County residents and patrons of the library. The theme was chosen because this is the 100-year anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. It is also the 100th anniversary of when Prohibition — a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages — went into effect in the United States.

The idea for satellite museums came from the Ferdinand library staff. “They approached us about providing information for them and artifacts,” Ray said. “And from that, we decided to do an actual program throughout the county.”

There are many pieces in the “Roaring Twenties” exhibit, including a pair of 1926 wedding shoes, a photograph of Victor and Lorena (Goetz) Sermersheim, Dolly Dingle Boy & Girl Porcelain dolls, a 1920 electric Singer sewing machine, a prescription form for medical purposes for alcohol, a Bardenheier pint wine bottle found in the Eckert log house in Celestine, a black and white parasol, an Art Deco tin, “Gibson Girl” poster advertising for the Bamberger Store in Huntingburg, an Uhl bottle and jug, diecast car models and handmade doll dresses.

The “Roaring Twenties” exhibit will close at the library March 28. The core exhibit will then move to the Jasper Public Library for April and May.

The Birdseye Branch Library will have a small exhibit this summer about the Patoka Lake Recreation Area, an idea suggested by the library staff.

“They suggested that because they get a lot of summer traffic in Birdseye and there are people staying at the lake. So they would be interested in seeing that,” Ray said. “And community members would enjoy seeing things from Birdseye as well as recreational items.”

Right now, the museum is looking to place exhibits at nursing homes and assisted living centers, but any public establishment, like community centers, can work with the museum to get an exhibit.

“It’s open to what they prefer,” Ray said. “We do have some suggestions, but initially, we’re accommodating ideas as they come to us.”

The museum is also hosting a “Night at the Museum” each month from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The first “Night” will be March 25.

“It is intended again to reach those audiences that have not been able to make it in during the regular hours,” Ray said.

The “Night at the Museum” evenings are scheduled for the rest of the year: April 23, May 28, June 25, July 23, Aug. 27, Sept. 30, Oct. 29, Nov. 19, and Dec. 17.

Admission for the evenings will be free and organizers hope to have a free program each evening.

For the March 25 evening, Blake Buechlein of the Jasper Reptile Center will bring live reptiles to the log house area for a program at 6:30 p.m. There will be a talk on Women’s Suffrage at the July 23 event, which is sponsored by the museum and Jasper Public Library. On Sept. 30, visitors can enjoy free popcorn and bid in the Lions Club’s annual radio auction. Guests are encouraged to don costumes and enjoy treats at the Oct. 29 evening. Nov. 19 is the opening of the Festival of Trees and will feature music and refreshments.

For information about satellite museums or the “Night at the Museum,” contact the museum at 812-634-7733.

The Dubois County Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is located at 2704 N. Newton St.

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