Cassville's newest attraction

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The new Barry County Museum is a fantastic addition to the Cassville community. The museum has been open for over a month and it's definitely worth visiting. I did a quick tour of the facility during Tuesday's quarterly luncheon, sponsored by the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce, and plan to make another more leisurely visit to the site in the near future. And while I'm on the topic of the chamber luncheons, let me add that if you haven't attended one of these events you're missing out another great opportunity to learn more about the community and enjoy a good lunch with other area residents and business leaders.

The museum is conveniently located on Highway 112 on a 20-acre site. As I drove to the museum on Tuesday and pulled into the parking lot, I was impressed with the beauty of the museum's setting. A pond sits next to the building and rolling fields with scattered trees provide a scenic backdrop.

The inside of the museum is also very appealing. It's a bright, open space where the items on display are the room's focal point. I found the subjects of each display very interesting, and the items were exhibited in a way that was appealing to the eye and easy to view and read. It's also fun to look at the items people collect. When I visited, there was an antique plate collection in one case and a grouping of painted ceramic horses in another. There was also a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and a Christmas village on display in the entry to give the museum a festive holiday feel.

The Barry County Museum is also home to the Barry County Oral History Project and the Rural Schools Project. Both of these efforts are vital to preserving Barry County's past, and it's wonderful the projects can be conducted out of the museum building.

The staff at the museum is extremely friendly and knowledgeable. Kathy White, as the museum's director, is enthusiastic and does a very professional job of promoting the facility. Each visitor to the museum is greeted warmly and made to feel right at home, and there is no shortage of interesting memorabilia and historic collections, which keeps people wanting to come back for another visit.

The Barry County Museum is sure to become a popular attraction for Cassville residents and visitors alike. Its location on Highway 112 will draw tourists to the site and give them another reason to come back to Cassville for additional visits.

We hope the Barry County community will get behind the museum and support it. According to Kathy White, there are various ways to do that. First, area residents are encouraged to drop by and see what the museum has to offer. There will also be the opportunity to become a museum member and volunteer help is always needed. County residents or people with ties to the Barry County community are encouraged to also consider donating or loaning some of their family heirlooms to the museum collection.

The Barry County Museum is open seven days a week. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on the museum, contact White at 847-1640.