In 2018, the Stillwater History Museum at the Sheerar set out to increase programming, expand partnerships, and diversify our marketing efforts. As we enter 2019, I am pleased to report that these combined efforts have brought many new faces to the museum and our dedicated staff is even starting to recognize new repeat visitors. In 2018 the museum welcomed 2,915 museum visitors and 9,126 auditorium users, bringing the total center vitiation to 12,036, which is 3,448 more visitors than 2017.
As we enter 2019, we are excited to share new chapters of Stillwater History and we hope you take the time to discover your local history museum. This December, the museum installed an American Quilt Study Group travelling quilt show “Basket Quilts in the 19th Century” along with a variety of handcrafted baskets from local basket makers. The show will be on display until February 10th, and a variety of activities are planned to compliment the show. On January 12th there will be a basket weaving demonstration at the museum by Buck Dollarhide, and our free January 2nd Saturday and 3rd Thursday children’s activity will teach children how to weave a basic basket stitch.
Over the course of the last year, our new 2nd Saturday Children’s programming series has grown in popularity. These children’s programs are designed for kids between the ages of 4 and 12, with each month featuring a different activity or activities which connect to some type of historical theme. This fall we even added a 3rd Thursday version of the same program from 2:00-4:00 pm, which is proving to be even more popular, with new faces arriving each month.
Also coming up in January will be a presentation by Velda Lorenza on Women’s Suffrage, hosted by the Payne County Historical Society on Sunday January 27th, 2:00 pm. An Open Studio crochet time on Sunday, January 20th from 2:00-4:00 pm will be held in response to the interest shown from two basic crochet classes held in the museum in November. The museum will also stay open until 7:00 pm as part of Final Friday on January 25th to provide another opportunity for visitors to experience the quilt and basket show.
None of this growth would be possible without the support of our community, and I want to take a moment to thank our 44 volunteers who gave 1,940 hours of service to the museum in 2018. I also want to thank our exiting board members for all of their efforts, including Nancy Beckstrom, who brought us the Datebook idea, and Elizabeth Carver-Cyr, who connected us with OSU’s Into the Streets volunteer day. We are pleased to welcome six new board members, Judi Baker, Dennis Cyr, Mary Ann Grimsley, Joan Hert, Susan Matlock, and Debby Strickland. We also want to thank our outgoing board President Gladeen Allred and our incoming board officers Stephen Gose, President and Velda Lorenz, Vice President, as well as, Kay Woodward Keys for serving as our Treasurer for her sixth year.
Originally published in the Stillwater NewsPress