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Old 03-12-2009, 12:58 PM
Keith Norrington Keith Norrington is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078

Dale: Hasn't S&D come to the "rescue" of the Ohio River Museum in recent times with $$$$ to pay the salary of somebody to keep the museum open? It's pretty sad to think that the museum is now open ONLY on weekends and ONLY for several months out of the year! The state historical society is undoubtedly well acquainted with the $$$$ in the J. Mack Gamble Fund and I wonder if their "partnering" is really just a glitzy way of them looking for another "bailout"! And, if it's granted, how long until the NEXT time??? Helping the museum is all well and good, but with boundaries. Has there been any "downsizing" of any kind at the top in Columbus?

During the 42 years that I've been a member of S&D, I recall another time when the state declared an "austerity program" and told then curator Catherine Remley to lock up the museum and admit no one. For S&D weekend Catherine not only opened wide the museum doors, but served coffee and donuts -- and husband Chuck opened the SNYDER too!

I'm sure this topic will be high on the agenda of the upcoming S&D board meeting on March 28th at Marietta. Maybe it's time that S&D -- which owns the majority of the artifacts on display at the Ohio River Museum -- considered buying one of those historic old buildings on Front Street in downtown Marietta and renovated it to become the river museum. Also, the BECKY THATCHER is available! She could be hauled out of the water much like other vintage vessels and would make an excellent venue for a river museum. Not so far fetched!

And what is going on with the project to renovate the W.P. SNYDER, JR? Wasn't she supposed to go to Pittsburgh last December and didn't? With what I've heard from those in the know about the precarious condition of her hull, I hope they don't wait until it's too late!

All of this makes me doubly glad that the Howard Steamboat Museum is NOT affiliated with any state agencies. Yes, we operate on a shoestring budget, but we do manage to keep the museum open year round, six days a week with a very small paid staff and many dedicated volunteers.

Here's hoping that a viable solution can be found to save the Ohio River Museum so that the collection can be enjoyed as was intended by all the great people who have contributed and entrusted relics, paintings, photos and models to it since the exhibits first opened in 1941 in the basement of Campus Martius Museum. Those artifacts were passed along as a "sacred trust" to future generations and need to be available for the public good.

Photo: Original RIVER MUSEUM at Marietta.
Attached Thumbnails
*'Ohio River Museum may close after June 30.'*-original-river-museum-marietta.jpg  
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