Plenty, it turns out.
Some of the new things are old, just new to us. We are constantly adding objects to our collection which by definition are old objects. We are proud of our fixation with the past. Our motto is: “Securing our Place in History.”
To keep track of our large and growing collection, we recently completed a project that will categorize and computerize everything we have. This “Past Perfect” project, which required well over two thousand volunteer hours was completed at the end of 2018. Our institutional memory resides in our computer. That’s new.
To spread our collection out and provide more space in the storage room, we purchased an additional carriage. Each carriage has two sides, called cabinets which have eight shelves which in turn have a varying number of drawers to store items of various sizes and shapes. Three of the carriages are movable which make them fully accessible to our board members. That’s new.
Since it takes modern strategies to preserve the past, we have made significant infrastructure improvements in recent months including new furnaces and zone controls in both the Carlin House and the Turner Museum. These things are new.
Recently, we jumped at the opportunity to annex a piece of Palmyra history when a small wooded property along the Scuppernong River was offered for sale by a private owner. It included the historic Xenobia Springs, which, with the Deep Rock and other springs, helped to define Palmyra to the public for more than a century. We were able to buy the property and donate it to the Village of Palmyra with the stipulation it be used for a park. As of December, 2018, work to build the park is nearly complete. Being a real estate maven was new to us.
The changes at the museums are mostly unseen but essential to our mission. When you visit you can expect to see both the historic Carlin House (built in 1845) and the Turner Museum, built in 1988 to house rotating exhibits and store our artifacts.
As we move along into 2019, we will be changing exhibits in the Turner Museum to be ready for the opening Saturday, June 5. (after the conclusion of the Student Art Show). However, you can always be sure of seeing the permanent exhibit called “Palmyra, then and Now.”