The Wabash County Historical Museum, Inc. recently announced the start of their 2013 Annual Operating Fund Campaign. Mitch Figert, the museum’s recently appointed Executive Director, announced this year’s goal of $115,000.
“This is an aggressive goal compared to previous years’ campaigns,” Figert stated. “We have a lot happening at the museum and this campaign reflects the numerous improvements and additions taking place at our facility.”
Figert, who has been with the museum since mid-July, has openly commented on his plans to further engage families and youth in the historical museum. The museum currently admits all area school groups at no charge to the school corporations, educators or families.
“We want to position the museum as a second classroom for our area schools,” Figert noted. “It is one thing to learn from a textbook but here they can come into our facility and interact with the exhibits.”
The museum is also preparing for a new outdoor exhibit that will be located to the west of their building. This new exhibit will feature a full-sized caboose that will be restored and accented with a patio and garden space. The caboose is scheduled to arrive this fall and the restoration will begin after its delivery and likely continue into the spring.
“We are grateful for the generosity of former Mayor Robert and Peggy McCallen for generously donating this caboose to the museum and the other numerous partners who are making this exhibit a reality,” Figert explained.
“The railroad has always had a major role in the history of Wabash, starting with the Big Four, and this caboose will be a great tribute to that history.”
As part of their campaign, funds will also be raised to support other needs including ongoing maintenance of the facility and exhibits, maintaining the collection of over 25,000 artifacts, and continuing to provide quality programming.
The museum opened in their current location at 36 E. Market Street in downtown Wabash in 2005, following relocation from Memorial Hall on Hill Street. The museum is a non-profit organization that focuses on collecting, preserving, documenting and displaying the rich history of Wabash County. While the museum receives approximately 10 percent of their budget from the Wabash County government, the other 90 percent comes through admissions, museum store sales, and, more importantly, through local donors.
“Donors are the heart of the museum and ensure that we are able to sustain our programming and protect the collection,” Figert noted.
The museum is often referred to as the best county museum in the state and is filled with interactive exhibits for both kids and adults. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To make a gift to support the 2013 Annual Operating Fund Drive, donors can mail their tax deductible gift to: Wabash County Historical Museum, Inc., 36 E. Market Street, Wabash, IN 46992 or donate online at www.wabashmuseum.org.