The Harbor House Museum will open on Sunday with new exhibits and changes | News, Sports, Jobs

The Harbor House Museum, 17 N. Fourth St. in Crystal Falls, opens for the season on Sunday. The Crystal Falls Museum Society Board of Trustees made several changes to the museum, including new exhibits and the relocation of the Museum Archives from City Hall. Here, Barbara Luck, president and secretary of the museum corporation’s board, sorts through a box of donations with the help of her shih zhu puppy, Elle. (Terri Castelaz/Photo from the Daily)

CRYSTAL FALLS — Changes are underway at the Harbor House Museum in Crystal Falls.

The first item on the agenda of the Crystal Falls Museum Society board was to move all of the archives from the basement of City Hall to the museum.

“Everything has been moved except for two shelves containing Diamond Drill numbers,” said Board Chair and Secretary Barbara Luck.

The logs will be stored in a room at Charlie’s Emporium — owned by Luck — so they can be safely kept at a consistent temperature year-round.

Many issues of the Diamond Drill have not been digitized, so until they receive a grant or other funding to do so, they must preserve the fragile journals as best they can.

THE HARBOR HOUSE MUSEUM, 17 N. Fourth St. in Crystal Falls, opens for the season on Sunday. The Crystal Falls Museum Society board has been busy making several changes, including new displays. Above, Barbara Luck, president and secretary of the museum corporation’s board, looks at one of the exhibits. (Terri Castelaz/Photo from the Daily)

“They will remain there until we determine if we can keep the museum heated during the winter months,” she says.

Luck emphasized how grateful they were to have the city’s help as they delivered all of the heavy items to the new home.

The museum’s library room, located on the first floor, has been converted into an archive room. “We want to be a museum that works” she says. “This will allow the community to come during opening hours for research and can get help if needed.”

It also allows easy access to materials needed by Michelle Smokevitch, Board Member and Vice President and Treasurer, for print or document requests.

“We still have to organize ourselves, because we are learning as we go,” Luck added.

EXTERIOR of the Harbor House Museum, 17 N. Fourth St. in Crystal Falls, which opens for the season Sunday. (Terri Castelaz/Photo from the Daily)

Another valuable improvement is the implementation of their new PastPerfect Museum software. “Michelle is an IT expert – she will do all of our requests and enter every membership”, she says.

They are also changing the showrooms. “Customers have seen these same screens for the past 20 years – it’s time to recycle”, Luck said.

With the archives now in place, they began rummaging through storage boxes and discovering things they didn’t know they had. “It’s exciting to find these hidden gems,” she says.

They will examine each accession extensively to determine if it represents Crystal Falls. “We will do a lot of analysis” she says. “It is important to know his story and why he is here.”

This process will take some time, she added, as the attic is completely full.

They already have plans to expand its exhibits of veterans, mining and logging, as well as the area’s first settlers. “It’s fascinating to look back and see how Crystal Falls has evolved over time,” she says.

It is also fortunate that women are more represented in the museum.

She added that Smokevitch had a great idea to make a video of the second floor available for those who couldn’t climb the stairs. “This area is unfortunately not accessible to people with disabilities, so it would be a way for visitors to see all the exhibits on the second floor,” she says.

The board wants to keep the museum open year-round because closing in winter doesn’t help the old building, she noted.

The first repair they tackle is a new roof on the mason-built house in 1904.

They also need volunteers, Luck said, including additions to the company’s three-member board. Anyone interested in getting involved with the museum can contact Barbara Luck at 913-433-8858 or email [email protected]

Fundraising plans are still ongoing as they have focused on moving and reorganizing. However, they recently completed a cookbook with over 350 recipes from a compilation of cookbooks from Crystal Falls’ past, which will be sold as a fundraiser.

“We have a list of ideas and things to do”, she says. “We can’t say we’re going to do them all, but we’re going to have fun doing them.”

The Harbor House Museum, at 17 N. Fourth St., will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday. They will open for the season on Sunday.

“We would eventually like to be open at least four days a week,” Luck said, “and also include a few hours in the evening.”

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