Editorial submitted by Conrad Doyle
I have kin from out of state coming to visit for a couple of days and want to show them where they “come from”. Since this will be a quick visit, we will have to make the most of the time we have together, so I took to the internet to make a schedule of must see places.
This blitzkrieg will include some of the “must see” or “go to” places that will obviously include a drive down Main Street to visit locations that have historic value and current noteworthy exhibits.
It goes without saying that the “new” Confederate Monument, once located near the University of Louisville where it had resided for more than 120 years, will be our first stop. Next we will visit a number of other monuments to include one honoring the Underground Railroad and the Brandenburg Ferry which was instrumental in providing transportation to Indiana for slaves seeking freedom.
Once we complete that portion of our journey I think we will then make the long walk up the hillside to the old library building which now houses our Meade County History Museum. Having never made that long climb, we may have to stop at the coffee shop prior to scaling that hillside.
It was at this point that I looked up the Museum to get the hours and cost of admission only to be sorely disappointed. Seems that it is only open for a small portion of three days beginning on Thursday and ending on Saturday. Since my kinfolk will only be here from Sunday evening to Wednesday morning, we will not be able to visit the greatest source of familial ties to this area.
The largest and most thorough resting place for items that not only represent this heritage of this geographical area, but also items that have been donated by other kin so as to preserve them for future generations to see, study or just enjoy. Knowing that kinfolk will have a portion of their lives remain as a living monument to their existence can provide such concrete connections to distant kin who lived many, many years ago.
The closed doors are concerning to me and to those who were looking forward to making a connection with their family heirs. Why are the doors open so few hours and days?
Who or what entity “owns” or “runs” this museum? Does it have a board of directors in charge of overseeing its day to day operations?
What, if any, funding is available for ensuring the facility is able to keep its doors open to the public?
Do our county officials support the museum? Do they include monies for its operating budget? Are our tax dollars being shared with it?
If not, which I fear is the right answer, then why not? Why would all my tax dollars go to pay for the Taj Mahal (aka the library) and none of it be going to preserve our county and family histories and artifacts?
Sadly, the one stop we were most excited to share with family is not going to be available.