By Frankie Meyer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Mark your calendars so you don't miss the grand opening gala of exhibits at the old courthouse in Pineville on May 25, 26 and 27.
The McDonald County Historical Society is restoring the old courthouse that was completed on the square in Pineville in 1871. During the gala, people will be able to see the updates to the courthouse and view new exhibits that tell the history of the county.
Many people and businesses are helping to make the restoration such a success. Among the changes are a new heating and air conditioning system, updated windows and lighting, refinished doors, new wall board and a fresh coat of paint in the rooms. Russell Wishon recently refinished hardwood floors at no charge.
The society is still raising funds for a much-needed elevator because the stairs are steep and winding. Funding is also needed to restore the courtroom on the second floor.
The society has been approved for a $2,500 grant from the Missouri Humanities Council to help fund exhibits. Members of the committee who are preparing exhibits are Lynn Hill-Tatum, Patsy Chapman, Shirley (Morgan) Alps, Jane Lant and Gayle Foster.
The committee was thrilled when Alisha Cole, a professional museum consultant from Kansas City, recently spent a day with them and provided ideas for the exhibits and grand opening.
Cole emphasized that the exhibits should tell a story, not just display items. As a result of her advice and the committee's diligent work, the creative exhibits are certain to entertain, inspire and amaze visitors.
Among the activities being planned as part of the gala are a petting zoo and interactive games such as marbles, kick the can, checkers and horseshoes. Demonstrations will include goat-milking, butter-making, weaving and sewing. Two of the unique events are mule jumping and cow patty bingo.
The society is selling chances to win a limited edition print that has been donated by Doug Hall, an internationally known artist from Southwest Missouri. His painting is titled "Red Coat, Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, 1812." To see a copy of the painting and his other work, check out his website at www.doug hallart.com.
At the gala, the society will sell a new pictorial history book about the county, as well as several other related books and items.
The Missouri Humanities Council is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the state of Missouri, corporate and foundation grants and individual donations.
For information on how your nonprofit group can obtain a grant, people may contact executive director Geoffrey Giglierano at 314-781-9660. His email address is geoff@mohumanities. org.
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