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Historical Society Museum renovations nearing completion

With renovations nearing completion for the Osage County Historical Society Museum, OCHS Director Shirley Roberts is helping Paula Elliott remove books from the temporary Museum Annex Gift Shop to the newly renovated and expanded Museum. KATHRYN SWAN/J-C CORRESPONDENT
With renovations nearing completion for the Osage County Historical Society Museum, OCHS Director Shirley Roberts is helping Paula Elliott remove books from the temporary Museum Annex Gift Shop to the newly renovated and expanded Museum. KATHRYN SWAN/J-C CORRESPONDENT

Renovations are nearing completion for the Osage County Historical Society Museum.

“We began moving our big items back into the building last Tuesday,” said Curator Barbara Pease. “There is still a lot of work to be done before the Museum will be open to the public. Before any artifact can be reintroduced to the Museum, we must be sure all traces of smoke have been removed. Fortunately, Servepro is allowing us to use their ozone equipment to finish up any loose ends. We ask that the public be patient with us as we work through the layers of details to ready the Museum for our grand opening.”

When asked when she anticipates the museum will be open to the public, Pease said that with the volume of items still to be re-inventoried, it could be several months before the facility is ready for viewing.

Museum expert Rhonda Kohnle designed the layout for the renovated museum and explained the new entrance will lead directly into an expanded gift shop. The extensive collection of new and used books will be housed in a specially designed room in the southwest corner. The center of the museum will feature three separate areas – Native American (including the Moncravie Osage Room), Oil and Railroad. Mark Short has volunteered to fix the Museum’s wooden oil rig which will be situated directly in the center of the facility, just south of the new public restrooms and rest area.

A handicap accessible ramp leads to the spacious upper level. Individual sections will denote early Osage County history, military and scouting. The far north end will house an original chuck wagon, saddles, branding irons and assorted western items.

With Christmas fast approaching, the Museum Gift Shop will re-open as soon as possible. In the meantime, special orders are being accepted for any gift shop item by calling 918-287-9119.

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