The McCleary Historical Society’s first grants over $1,000 have been realized. The Grays Harbor Community Foundation has awarded the society a $30,000 capital grant and a $5,000 operating grant.
This is huge. As the president of the society, I would like to say that we are very appreciative of the confidence Grays Harbor Community Foundation has shown in us. We will strive to put every dime to good use. We have no doubt we can do that but will be careful with our priorities.
As we have reported in the past, the chimney was earthquake-proofed in December. We have had the knob and tube lighting in the building replaced. Our next focus will be on the windows in the office. They are in need of immediate attention.
Further plans include to finish paying for the building and the no interest loan granted by the United Methodist Church for half the cost of the electrical repair. Without their initial help we could not have started before getting our first grant, so we are weeks ahead of the game now.
While the foundation of the building is in stable condition, there are large cracks that need attention. We also are looking at replacing all of the original windows — not the stained-glass windows — as they are original windows and have been affected by weather and have aged over the past 94 years.
The Historical Society has been collecting artifacts for over 35 years, and the collection has grown quite large. While the building is larger than our first home, The Carnell House, we still find we are extremely short of space for displays. We plan to be a supplement to the current Community event venues, i.e. the Community Center and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall. With that plan, we have to carefully think out the display area.
We have a wonderful old washing machine collection, and may inherit another soon, but we have no place for display. Plans are in the works to get an additional building on the back of the church for our larger items.
Further issues that will be of considerable cost are being addressed. We are working off the inspection report supplied by the city of McCleary last year and doing the critical first steps to making this a wonderful place to work and visit.
By “work” I mean “volunteer.” We have plans for a Visitors Center and a Gift Shop that will feature local artists’ work.
When you first visit the museum, you will come into updated smoke detectors (8 in all) and brand-new fire extinguishers as well as lighted exit signs.
Thank you, Grays Harbor Community Foundation, for this fabulous jump-start to our Capital Campaign.
Vidette columnist Linda Thompson can be reached at email@example.com.