By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
After three months of spring cleaning and doing research, staffers will re-open Ruthmere Museum to the public Tuesday for the 2013 season.
Ruthmere Museum, located at 302 E. Beardsley Ave., is a mansion filled with history of the Ruthmere family, and is a showcase for art pieces and architecture.
“It’s our time of deep cleaning in certain areas,” said Abbey Huff, Ruthmere Museums Campus assistant curator and social media manager. “This time it was the upper private portion of the house, the main bedrooms and the rooms of the cook and maid.
“We cleaned the bedrooms and closets. We dusted, polished and sent out the window lattices and sheers to be nice and clean for us,” she added. “Each of us have different projects and we’ve worked on the family tree. We built a new volunteer base and had some volunteer training.”
Among other activities, staffers planned and held a “Downton Abby” party and recently hosted an indoor wedding.
“We are arguably busier when we’re closed than when we open,” Huff said, laughing. “We do book weddings and they are typically in the gardens.”
Huff said the turnout for opening days at Ruthmere are usually pretty good, since some of the local school districts are on spring break.
“There should be some parents bringing in their kids,” Huff said. “We have a lot of school groups come in for tours and we’ll have 1,000 students come through here free of charge through the Elkhart Community Schools Field Trip Initiatives.”
Some of the upcoming programs planned at the museum include a Spring Culture series. The first lectures in the series will feature Master Gardener Jim Carpenter April 5 and April 19 at 6 p.m.
Carpenter is an avid gardener and enjoys volunteering in local elementary schools. He is also a freelance writer, with many of his poems and essays focusing on the environment. The April 5 lecture, “Heirloom Vegetables and Seed Saving,” will focus on many of the benefits and history of gardening with heirlooms, as well as the science and art of seed saving. Carpenter’s second lecture on April 19 will include “Backyard Maple Syrup Making” and “Mushrooms of Indiana.”
Tickets are $10 per program. Ruthmere members can purchase a series ticket for $15 or individual tickets for $5 each. For reservations, call 264-0330 ext. 104.
Also at Ruthmere, the “Coffee on the Piazza” program will take place every Saturday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Free Starbucks coffee will be offered at 9:30 a.m., and live acoustic music will be performed from 10:30 a.m. until noon.
If you want to go
Guided tours at Ruthmere are offered Tuesday through Saturday on the hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. Visitors can visit the first Sunday of each month free of charge between 1 to 4 p.m. Regular admission is $10 for adults and $4 for students, with children younger than age 5 admitted free when accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 574-264-0330 or visit the website at www.Ruthmere.org.