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Renovated museum of local history garners praise and support

WARRENSBURG - In the wake of the recent successful reopening of the Warrensburgh Museum of Local History, town officials dedicated $3,200 Wednesday to its further development.

After being closed for more than seven years, the museum recently reopened to the public with themed environments, exhibits of artifacts and historic photographs, all accompanied by interpretive text that describes the development of the town.

The museum opening July 11 was well attended, with about 100 people reviewing the work that has been accomplished recently by members of the Warrensburg Historical Society and friends. The entire town board, including Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty attended the much-anticipated event.

"The Historical Society members have done a remarkable job," Geraghty said Monday. "They've put a lot of research and effort into it - and the presentations are very professional. This is a work in progress, and as they move along, well see even more outstanding displays and exhibits."

Wednesday, the town board pledged $3,200 to the Warrensburg Historical Society for the group to spend on more museum displays. The money is from county Occupancy Tax revenue.

Last year, the town earmarked $5,300 for the museum's development, bringing the total to about about $25,000 over the past several years. Town support includes renovations to the museum building, the VFW Hall at 3754 Main Street, as well as for exhibit development. The town also spends from $10,000 to $15,000 per year on utilities, maintenance and repairs to the building.

Museum director Steve Parisi said he was pleased with the museum's opening event, as well as townspeople's reaction to the new exhibits.

"People had very positive reactions," he said. "Many were happily surprised it didn't look like a conglomeration of things, but that we're now telling a story of the town's history - visitors were very enthusiastic."

About a dozen semi-divided rooms in the museum provide exhibits that focus on the town's natural history, logging, farming, government, architecture, transportation and industry, spiritual and academic pursuits, home life, hotels and taverns, commerce and health care.

Parisi said the museum of history is open three days per week: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays from noon to 3 p.m., and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The museum entrance, fully accessible, is at the rear of the building, where limited parking is available.

The museum is now seeking volunteers to help as docents or museum guides. Those interested may contact Parisi at 623-2928, or 623-2207, or via e-mail at steve.parisi@netheaven.com. The Historical Society's web address is www.whs12885.org

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