by Lisa Tome
After almost 20 years as a non profit, the Cecil County Farm Museum now has a fixed address.
For years, the museum was at the former Jerry's Auto in downtown Rising Sun. But artifacts belonging to the museum are stashed here and there at homes and in garages and barns.
According to museum member Beth Warrington, in August, the museum got its own address - 820 Appleton Road - after sharing an address with Cecil County School of Technology for the past four years. This year, 2018 has been particularly busy. In January, museum officials decided to begin developing a partnership with the school system, particularly the neighboring Cecil County School of Technology. The officials also decided to move all CCFM events to the site, work to get a water connection, built a pole barn display area, moved forward with planning a multi-purpose meeting room, started the process of getting electric to the site, and began grant application process beyond the local pursuit of video lottery terminal grants.
Members were at the museum last week preparing to host government officials to ask for help in meeting the goal of open- ing the museum in 2019. Among those on last week's guest list was Valerie Connelly, executive director for the Maryland State Farm Bureau. School system, county chamber, land trust, and county officials were also on the guest list.
Mel Bacon, a North East High School retired teacher and coach, got involved with the museum more than a year ago. He is working as a lobbyist for the group.
The Cecil County Farm Museum was created to preserve Cecil's agricultural heritage. They want to preserve the heritage and educate people about the past and present of agriculture. Bacon said part of that would be getting the museum into elementary school curriculum.
"We've spent $225,000 and we need a lot more money," said Bacon. "We're not just apple butter and tractor pulls. The events make the museum visible. But we want ideas. We can throw buildings up but the key to this is partner- ship. The school system can keep us up and growing," said Bacon. Bacon showed off the future museum buildings and shared potential display layouts, one of which will be centered on farm life in the kitchen.
While Bacon was showing off the site, Betty Moore, Beth Warrington, and Mary McCleary were decorating and preparing snacks for the meeting.
Moore has long been involved with CCFM - she painted the original sign for the museum. "We hope they (guests) bring money," said Warrington. "Or show us how to get some," said Moore. "We are hoping to get the state and county involved. A lot of people don't realize we are here," said McCleary.
Warrington said the meeting was a success. Twice as many people as anticipated turned out to offer ideas and assistance.