Louisiana Museum has new displays available when it opens for season on Saturday

Louisiana Museum

Louisiana Area Historical Museum board member Linda Beer, center, showcases a display for Renee and Tristen Phillips of rural Baylis, Ill. | Photo courtesy of Louisiana Area Historical Museum

LOUISIANA, Mo. — The Louisiana Area Historical Museum has new displays as it prepares for the summer season that starts Saturday, May 27.

The facility at 304 Georgia will be open Saturdays from 10 a.m.-noon and Wednesdays from 1-3 p.m. There is no admission charge.

New displays are Titanic exhibit featuring Louisiana seamstress May Birkhead, as well as tributes to jazz musician Eddie South and Pike County folklore favorites Sweet Betsy and Joe Bowers.

The museum has been reorganized to highlight Louisiana’s history starting with native tribes and continuing to today. Many of the exhibits that visitors remember are still showcased, but several have been updated thanks to the efforts of board members and volunteers.

In a press release, museum board president Brent Engel said, “We think the additions and the changes we’ve made will really capture the attention of visitors. Even if you haven’t walked through our doors for a while, we urge you to come and see what we have to offer.”

Earlier this year, the museum sponsored contests such as “Cupid’s Couples,” “Find the Leprechaun” and “Name the Baseball Team” to generate interest. More contests are planned. In addition, a successful luncheon was held featuring Civil War historian Tim Jacobs and his program, “The Sword in the Wall.”

Another museum endeavor is returning this summer. Programs for “kids of all ages” will be held at 1 p.m. May 31, June 7 and June 14. Topics include trees, science and rocks.

The museum got its start in 1992 with a handful of history buffs in a tiny room behind the Chamber of Commerce at 107 S. Third. Experts such as former Mark Twain Boyhood Home curator Henry Sweets and Jim Millan — who was instrumental in the restoration of Champ Clark’s Bowling Green home, Honey Shuck — were called in to offer advice on policies and displays.

Financial contributions helped keep the lights on, and artifacts began pouring in. The volume became so great that within two years of opening, the museum was moved to its current location. The building was originally two retail stores — one that had made and sold hats and another that had offered shoes.

Additional information may be found on the museum’s Facebook page.

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