by Lisa Tome
Rising Sun's history has a new beginning.
It will be unveiled this weekend.
After being closed for more than two years, Rising Sun's Historical Preservation Commission Museum, will open Saturday, February 8 from 1-4 p.m.
Since last year, the HPC has has new leadership and big plans for the future. Tom Mumey has taken over the reigns behind a group of dedicated volunteers. Mumey is very familiar with the HPC since he played a key role when it was organized in 2004. Mumey wrote the by-laws for the nonprofit organization and helped get the museum off the ground.
One of the current undertakings of the all volunteer organization is maintaining both the museum and a storefront. Bud McFadden, owner of the for sale former Parts Plus business, is allowing the HPC to display some of the museum overflow in his storefront on Main Street.
That Main Street display area has currently allowed the museum staff to display recently donated clothing. Virginia Knutsen donated some handmade items created by a family member. HPC member John Ehrhart created displays for those clothes. Using scrap wood, Ehrhart made flat display mannequins similar to ones Mumey saw at an antique show in southern Maryland. Ehrhart, the commission's jack of all trades, builder and float maker, created the mannequins from the scrap lumber. Chloe Fowler painted faces on them. "If we had bought those mannequins, it would have cost us $80 apiece," said Mumey.
The Main Street display also features some new museum artifacts including an antique lantern from the late Bill McNamee's collection. There are also historic signs, vintage military uniforms, and more.
Volunteers are also working to make the museum ready for this weekend's opening. It has been closed since a flood in 2011. The museum houses extensive collections from McNamee, Dr. Neil Taylor, Ola Belle Reed, and others.
The Historical Preservation Commission is also currently working to boost membership. A membership drive is underway. Cost for membership is $15 annually for individuals and $25 per family. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at Rising Sun town hall. All are welcome to join. In addition to preserving and maintaining the artifacts of the area, one of the functions of the group is to host informational speakers and events.
The search for a large, permanent home for the museum is also underway. They will also continue to collect donations from the community of items that are museum worthy.