BRISTOL — The Elkhart County Historical Museum will be having an afterhours open house on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The event will be free and visitors can stop in at any time during the open house. Staff and volunteers will be placed throughout the museum and will be available to answer questions about exhibits, artifacts and future plans for the museum.
“At this time last year we held a public feedback session to see what kind of things that people wanted to see at the museum,” museum manager Matthew Schuld said. “After analyzing what people wanted and how they fit into long-range planning for the museum, we are excited to debut a few of these changes. It also provides us with a chance to reach people who cannot visit during normal open hours.”
Changes to the museum include a redesigned welcome area as visitors enter the museum and several new interpretive panels in the exhibits. Museum staff will also be available to talk about resources available in the newly opened (2013) Corson Local History Library and Special Collections Reading Room.
Staff will also be discussing the Glenn and Chris Brown History Education Lab, which is currently under construction and is expected to open this spring.
Another new display visitors may view is a reproduction of the 1860 Lincoln campaign banner painted by Goshen artist J.H. Dille. The original hangs in the Elkhart County Courthouse. The banner depicts Abraham Lincoln, vice-presidential candidate Hannibal Hamlin and Henry Smith Lane, candidate for governor of Indiana.
The Elkhart County Historical Society funded the reproduction of the banner to ensure the public would have better access to viewing this piece of local history.
“These new resources are a real improvement to the overall visitor experience,” Curator of Education Patrick McGuire said. “They provide a historical narrative and background for our exhibits, new research opportunities and a better connection to the history of the artifacts they see throughout the museum.”
The museum’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. There is no charge for admission, but donations are accepted.
For more information, visit http://www.elkhartcountyhistory.org. The museum is located at 304 W. Vistula (Ind. 120) in Bristol.