Source: The Corydon Democrat

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County museum may find home downtown
Historical society has eye on old jail building

by Ross Schulz

October 22, 2013

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners gave its blessing Monday night to Historical Society of Harrison County president Karen Schwartz to pursue a plan for a Harrison County museum at the old jail/archives building in downtown Corydon.

The March to the Museum movement was created by the Society in hopes of having a museum by 2016, for Indiana's bicentennial celebration.

"I don't have to tell you what a rich history we have," Schwartz said to the commissioners.

With all of the rich history in the county, however, there's no single place to showcase it all. Schwartz and the March to the Museum committee hope a museum can be that place.

The location of the old archives building is ideal, she said, because it is directly across from the old state capitol building on the square.

Schwartz asked if the board would agree to allow a museum expert to visit the site to assess the feasibility of utilizing the facility as a museum.

"Following the assessment, further details, based on the results of these recommendations, could be discussed by your board and the March to the Museum committee," she said.

Commissioner George Ethridge, who conducted a walk-through of the building with Schwartz and others last week, said he supports the idea and alternatives would have to be sought for those currently in the building: Coroner's office, CASA, election committee items and archives.

"I'm glad to see a museum is being pursued," Ethridge said. "I'm not born and bred here but have lived here since 1985. Part of the reason I came here was the heritage. Visiting the square is like walking into a Norman Rockwell painting. I'd like to be able to maintain that."

Commissioners Kenny Saulman and Jim Klinstiver also said they support the idea of a museum at the old jail/archives building.

"You've got unanimous support to go forward," Saulman said.

The March to the Museum group has had multiple fundraisers for the cause, including an upcoming show featuring Don Knotts' daughter, Karen Knotts, called "Tied Up in Knotts." (See story page A1)

In other business Monday, the board approved Jacobi Sales as the low bidder for four Case International mowing tractors for $145,000, counting trade-in value of four current tractors (also Case). Bids were also submitted by Chinn Equipment ($191,885) and John Deere Country ($198,200).

The current tractors have had clutch issues and, so far, the manufacturer has fixed the problems free of charge, but the two-year warranty runs out soon. The manufacturer agreed to continue to fix the problems until the new tractors arrive (120 to 150 days after order).

Harrison County Highway Dept. Supt. Glen Bube said the tractor issues hindered the county's mowing progress.

Bids also were accepted for a dump bed ($9,715) and two salt boxes ($28,900) from low-bidder Tow Zone of Clarksville.

The next board of commissioners meeting will be Monday morning, Nov. 4, at 8:30 at the Government Center in south Corydon.