Submitted by Kent Goodwin
I went down to the Kimberley Heritage Museum the other day to talk to Museum Administrator Marie Stang. The Kimberley and District Community Foundation had given the museum a grant in 2018 to expand the shelving in its artifacts storage room and I wanted to see how the project had gone.
The Kimberley Museum was opened in 1980 and next year will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. As Marie led me into the artifacts storage area we chatted about the importance of a museum in the life of a community and the ways that it helps connect folks with their past. An important takeaway for me, was the realization that history is constantly being created and the ordinary things we buy and use today may someday be important historical artifacts.
On the recently installed shelving, I saw a 1974 Summerfest beer mug, complete with Happy Hans. Beside it, a cookie jar, hand-painted at Mrs. Frocklidges Ceramic Studio in Lower Blarchmont. Above those hung an apron worn by a store clerk at the Blarchco hardware store on Warren Ave. And behind all of them was a complete set of circa 1970 kitchen storage canisters. Some of these items represent a Kimberley-specific event or establishment and others are just representative of a general era in time.
All of these items were donated by people cleaning out their basements and attics. Marie says she is always happy to appraise any item that people might bring to her to determine its historical significance and possibly add it to the collection. If you are doing some downsizing or decluttering and come across something interesting, you might want to stop by and let Marie have a look at it before it goes to the free store or a garage sale.
The Foundation’s next round of Community Grants will be disbursed this fall.