By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Recent renovations at the Appanoose County Historical & Coal Mining Museum in Centerville promise to give new, and even frequent visitors, an expanded and rewarding experience of local history.
Curator Lisa Eddy during a pre-grand opening Friday, June 22 said 10 percent of the renovations have yet to be finished.
The effort exerted to complete the 90 percent has taken a lot of volunteer commitment and hours, Eddy said.
"Every volunteer and hour they've been here, thousands," Eddy said. "I've been here hundreds. We are really pleased with it."
Scattered throughout the ground level are numerous displays devoted to research, postal history, dentistry, medical, music, theater, parlous, kitchen, Pure Ice, bedroom, back porch, movie, sports, Rathbun Lake, Pancake Day, public service, newspaper, military, photograph, organizations, Morgan Cline, native Americans, churches, farming, housewares, communications, pharmaceutical, toys, fine arts, optimetrics and items unique to Appanoose County.
A brand new stand-alone interactive exhibit is dedicated to extraordinary individuals from Appanoose County. It will feature 24 prominent individuals from Appanoose County when it is finished.
Some of the displays feature a "hands-on" option to allow visitors to go beyond the usual viewing experience.
The totally new mezzanine level is dedicated to textiles and displays a loom, clothing, quilts and other items.
"There's a lot of what people call 'friendship quilts,'" Eddy said. "Where each person would do one block and embroider their name on it."
The basement still houses items dedicated to coal mining in Appanoose County, different forms of transportation, a display of Southern Iowa Electric, Continental Flight 11 that crashed just south of Cincinnati and the Mormon Trail that passes through southern Iowa.
The Appanoose County Historical & Coal Mining Museum will be open for a special grand opening today and Tuesday at no charge from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. at 100 W. Maple St.
Their regular business hours are Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and admission is $4.