By John R. Schirmer
Things are happening quickly for the Howard County Historical Society and the 1912 E.A. Williams Chapel/Museum which it operates.
The museum will host the second Hometown Christmas program Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. (See related story.)
Volunteers are preparing the historic structure for the holiday event.
Along with the Christmas celebration, workers are also involved in a number of other projects, according to society president Freddie Horne.
The society is working on a room to house photographs, frames and other items at the old manse behind the museum. Volunteer Susan Nannemann said the photos and frames will be used to build exhibits for display in the museum.
The museum has hundreds of photographs which could be displayed at various times. There are about 100 boxes which volunteers will look through and organize.
Zoe Ella Smith and Alsonya Johnson are scanning pictures and documents by submect matter, Horne said. “This will be a two- to three-year project. We want to have a searchable database. We’ll have a kiosk with a computer where people can look things up from the document collection.”
Horne said the manse recently installed a new heating and air conditioning system, along with new shelving.
Regions Bank donated some filing cabinets and office furniture.
The society received a Quadrabell II-D solid state digital chime system from the First Presbyterian Church in Gurdon.
The device is a Schulmerich carillon based on the sound of Westminster chimes. Schulmeric is “one of the oldest in the business,” Horne said.
The church at Gurdon purchased the system in 1987 and gave it to the museum after acquiring a new unit, according to Horne.
“The works are digital. The chimes are tape driven. It’s no longer supported by service. A technician in Pennsylvania did a service call with me on the phone,” Horne said. “I’ve had a big electronics education the last few months.”
The device came with 600 songs on tape cartridges similar to those once used in radio stations. “We can control how many songs it plays at a time. The chimes play from 8-5 on weekdays and 11-5 on Sundays,” Horne said.
The First United Methodist Church of Nashville donated speakers which are housed in the museum’s bell tower.
Fred Hintze provided suggestions on wiring and speaker set-up, Horne said.
“We appreciate the Presbyterian church for the donation. Susan [Nannemann] made arrangements for speakers with the Methodist church,” according to Horne.
Nannemann is working on a collection of Caddo Indian artifacts, including a pot, tools and arrowheads. She plans an exhibit of the items.
The museum has a display of dinosaur bones. Work began earlier this year. Horne said a grand opening is planned for the dinosaur exhibit.
On the outside of the historic facility, Horne said he would like to have new sidewalks and a handicapped ramp in front.
The process of including the manse on the National Register of Historic Places has begun, Horne said. “It is eligible to be placed on the register.”
The historical society has received a number of grants to help with building restoration and other projects. The most recent was Nov. 9 when Horne accepted a $1,000 grant in Texarkana. The society may re-apply for it each year.
The museum is open from 12 noon until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. “There is no charge. It’s open to the public. We always take donations,” Horne said. “We’re thankful for those in the area who support us.”
The society is a 501 (c) (3) organization.
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The Howard County Historical Society will again sponsor a Nashville Hometown Christmas celebration this holiday season at the 1912 EA Williams Chapel/Museum.
The event is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.
HCHS President Freddie Horne advises folks to arrive early because seating is limited in the chapel.
Dr. Shirley Souder will deliver the Christmas devotional. Special performances are scheduled by David Riggs and Liz McDaniel, Jaree Hall and the First Baptist Church Children’s Choir, the First United Methodist Church Agape Handbell Choir, and David Young and fiddle student Chloe Manasco.
The chapel museum is located at the corner of Second and Hempstead Streets in Nashville.