By JIM SMITH
GRAYLING – The Crawford County Historical Museum is pleased to announce the award of a $4,000 grant from the Great Lakes Energy “People Fund” for the purpose of improving current display’s and the development of new displays documenting the history of Crawford County.
This grant allows the museum to complete the renovation of the Military Annex which preserves the history of Crawford County’s fighting men and women from the Civil War on. The museum recently was gifted several excellent lighted display cases from the DNR’s CCC Museum. The grant will pay for the transport and upgrading these cases.
In addition, a new display demonstrating early farming equipment is being designed. The Museum is also developing an enhanced display of early communications in Crawford County which will include an antique printing press being donated by the Crawford County Avalanche along with associated printing equipment.
The Museum Board is hoping to upgrade the electrical service in the building. Each new display creates a new electrical draw and there never seems to be enough outlets available. The big red caboose that stands beside the depot needs some TLC this summer. A leak has developed in the roof which needs to be repaired and the damaged floorboards replaced. The Trappers Cabin needs to be re-chinked. The old chinking is falling out and needs to be replaced
On the positive side, thanks to the efforts of the grounds committee and volunteers from several outside resources, the flower beds are looking fantastic. There are also a couple of new benches in front of the museum for visitors to rest their tired feet. The display committee has been working hard to be certain that the displays “tell a story”. Visitors especially seem to enjoy the early logging and railroad history housed in the museum. On several recent occasions the documentation has been drawn upon by numerous agency’s including the Michigan State Historical Museum.
The museum has had a delayed opening this year due to the ongoing renovation. The official opening this year is Thursday, July 4. The Museum hours this year will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday through Labor Day, then weekends through Autumn as the weather permits.
The Crawford County Community has benefitted many times from the Great Lakes People Funds generosity. These funds are generated by members of Great Lakes Energy rounding up their bills to the next highest dollar. The rounded-up amount is distributed to non-profit organizations and charitable activities that benefit people in communities served by the cooperative. If you wish to support the “People Fund”, contact Great Lakes Energy and let them know.
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