by Lisa Tome
George Washington slept there and now it's going to be a museum.
If all goes as planned, Perryville's historic Rodgers Tavern, built about 1740, will be a museum and will be open to the public on weekends by later this year.
According to Denise Breder, Perryville's town administrator, who is serving as liaison to the museum development committee, the group gathered last week to begin planning. About a half dozen volunteers have formed the committee and they are bringing a broad range of skills to the job.
Those volunteers have a great deal of work to do.
"It's a big deal. This museum has been the vision for quite some time," said Breder. The museum will encompass two floors of the building. The basement and attic floors are not part of the museum plan.
The committee will work on organization, inventory, and research of the town artifacts. They will also plan displays and determine how to best use the building as a museum. Some of the items tentatively planned for display will include railroad exhibits, and displays portraying the history of the town's fish and ice houses.
"We have some visions for things," said Breder. As of last week, the tentative plan will have the museum staffed by volunteers. Potentially, admission will be free with donations for upkeep being accepted. A much longer term plan will have a cafe also inside Rodgers Tavern.
If you have an interest in local history and don't want to wait for the museum to open, Perryville has a walking tour. The tour features 16 sites, all but one of which are marked with a stone. (Stop 6 - Garrett Island does not have the stone.)
Rodgers Tavern is the first site. Other sites include the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge, ice houses, the ferry boats, and St. Mark's Episcopal Church. The brochures for the tour are available at town hall.