Big changes at the History Museum


Newsroom Coordinator

The Meade County History Museum, thanks to additional financial support from both the city of Brandenburg and the county, has a lot more to offer the community, and they plan to expand their offerings even further.

With just their original 1,600 square feet of space, many of the museum’s exhibits were extremely close together.

“You could not tell where one exhibit ended and another began,” said Gerry Fischer.

Now that they’ve secured an additional 3,000 square feet, the museum is working on spreading out their exhibits as well as adding some new ones.

A utility wagon, which Fischer estimates to be from the late 1800s, is now set up for display in the museum’s new space. The wagon was used by people in the Wolf Creek and Cedar Flats area to haul groceries and supplies from Brandenburg. When it was used, it would likely take travelers an hour to travel three miles in the wagon. The more than 20-mile journey to Brandenburg, therefore, was a big deal, requiring travelers to camp out overnight.

Items owned and collected by Lottie Wilson, which were donated by Pam Corum, make up a new exhibit at the museum. These items include a mixture of household articles, specifically tools that would have been used in the past, such as measuring devices and carpentry devices. The exhibit also contains a beautiful handmade quilt. The museum plans on expanding this exhibit to include more household items.

One of the most interesting new exhibits at the museum is the Gary Kempf insect exhibit. This exhibit showcases insects from around the world and provides information about them. Fischer says he believes most continents are represented in the exhibit. The insect exhibit is housed in the museum’s new meeting room, which will be used for special exhibits, meetings, and to display art from local artists. The museum also plans to stream historical movies in the room and make that available for the public. Fischer says they will likely be streaming the play “Hamilton” soon.

In late July or early August, the museum will be hosting a monarch butterfly release on museum grounds. Overseen by Gary Kempf, participants will be able to hold a monarch butterfly and release it into the air. The butterflies will be flying south to Mexico. The monarch butterfly’s population in Kentucky has been reduced by about 80 percent. They lay their eggs on the milkweed plant, which is a plant targeted for extermination since it competes with corn, soybean and other crops.

“We’re going to be releasing these butterflies in the hopes that they can regenerate their numbers,” said Fischer.

Fischer said that they’re also finishing up plans for a Veterans exhibit at the museum. It will display material donated from local veterans. One of the most interesting parts of this exhibit will be unpublished photos from the World War II era of some of the time’s most well-known people, such as generals, presidents, and Stalin. The military at the time would send six to eight photographers to an event to photograph it at different angles, then they would choose the photos they distributed to newspapers and periodicals for publication. The collection at the museum consists of photos that were not chosen for publication, and so for the most part, they have been unseen by most of the world for decades.

This is just a sampling of what additional funding has allowed the museum to do. Stay tuned for further updates as the museum staff progress through their busy schedule and begin to offer more and more to the community!

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