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Lyon County needs more museum, less storage

July 20, 2011
Marshall Independent

The latest results in the Independent's most recent poll about the fate of the current library building showed that the majority of people believe the Lyon County Museum should move there after the new library opens, and we agree with that sentiment.

Simply put, moving into the library building would open up new display opportunities for the museum. It just makes the most sense.

The museum, once located in the Knights of Columbus building, currently occupies space along West Main Street and is paying $400 more per month for rent than in the more spacious K of C building. Besides paying rent for the building, museum curator Bev Kenyon said, the museum is coughing up another $175 per month for storage in Green Valley. Historic clothing artifacts are being stored at Carrow's Cleaners at no cost and still more items are being stored elsewhere.

"It's just not a good situation,"?Kenyon said. "We're dealing with a lot of issues. The city and county need to step up to the plate and get us a home of our own."

Kenyon said the recent storm left the museum's ceiling badly damaged as well and has created conditions not exactly ideal for a county museum.

"I don't think it's healthy for us to be here with the mold and dampness,"?said Kenyon.

Other suggestions given in poll responses included tearing the building down to make room for a parking ramp, selling the building outright, and having Marshall Area Fine Arts Council and the museum share the space. While we agree parking needs to be improved in that area, sacrificing a serviceable building seems to be more of a knee-jerk reaction than a productive solution.

As Kenyon said: "If they tore it down, what would we get, 12 parking spaces? That's asinine. I'm a firm believer that God gave us legs and we don't have to park right in front of the door when we go places."

Kenyon called a move to the library a "perfect" option for the museum because it would give museum volunteers the space to work on displays before showcasing them and also provide opportunities to present special programs that would include speakers who can complement displays with words.

Museums serve as a real-life link to our past and are meant to preserve pieces of our very own history, things that should be in window displays, not stuck in a dark storage space somewhere. The more space our museum has to show off these precious items, the better it is for everyone.



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