Source: The Corydon Democrat

Museum destination: downtown Corydon

by Ross Schulz

February 25, 2014

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners last Tuesday night gave its approval to the Historical Society of Harrison County to move forward with the county museum at the old jail/archives building in downtown Corydon.

The location is ideal because it is directly across from the old state capitol building on the square, Karen Schwartz, historical society president, said.

The March to the Museum movement was created by the historical society in hopes of having a museum by 2016, for Indiana’s bicentennial celebration. It appears that will be no problem and, in fact, it may be up and running for the 10-year anniversary of the historical society on April 26.

“It would be lovely (to have it up by then), but no rush,” Schwartz said.

The county has a few offices it needs to move out of the building before the historical society can move in, including the coroner and CASA, and election committee items.

Commissioner George Ethridge said the building could be ready for use sometime this spring.

Schwartz said the first exhibit created will be the Harrison County Driving Tour, a 232-photo display with descriptions by the historical society. The display will be published in booklet form this spring. Another possible display may be a model set recreation of the LNA&C railroad, she said.

Once the location is cleared for the museum, Schwartz said the society will welcome donations for displays.

When asked how long she expected the museum to be at the location, Schwartz immediately responded “forever” but then said the group will first see how it goes.

Commissioner Jim Klinstiver said he would like to see the museum eventually branch out with satellite locations. He mentioned the old mill in Lanesville as a possible location for one.

“I’d like to see it grow out in the county,” he said.

County attorney Chris Byrd said he’d create a Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the historical society.

At a previous commissioners’ meeting, the board advised Schwartz to seek help regarding the feasibility of the building as a museum without remodeling it.

David Buchanan and Link Ludington of the Indiana State Museum system visited the site in December to assess the feasibility, and their recommendation was to proceed with the facility as is since the county has already renovated and made it accessible. The historical society also received recommendations on possible future renovations down the road.

With all the history in Harrison County, there’s no single place to showcase it all. The historical society aims to make the museum that place.

In other business last week, highway department supervisor Glenn Bube asked for $40,000 for overtime out of the motor-vehicle highway fund because the department has already used the majority of the original $40,000 allotted for overtime. The active winter weather is to blame for the overtime shortage.

“Hopefully, we won’t use all of it,” Bube said of the $40,000.

Ethridge said he knows the department is doing a great job fighting the snow and ice.

The commissioners’ next meeting will be Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.