Pioneer Museum expands days of operation through Sunday

Published 8:41 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In an effort to make the Pioneer Museum of Alabama more accessible to tourists and locals during the summer season, the days of operation have been expanded to include Sunday afternoon.

“We thought that, with people traveling, we would open the museum from 1 until 5 on Sunday afternoons to give people an opportunity to explore what the museum has to offer,” said Jerry Peak, museum director. “For the first couple of Sundays, traffic was kind of slow but now that people know the museum is open, the number of visitors is increasing every week.”

Peak said the Pioneer Museum of Alabama provides educational opportunities for people of all ages.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We have two volunteers who will guide visitors inside and out,” he said. “The museum provides young people with an opportunity to see how people used to live and it improves their knowledge about the ways of old. For older people, it’s a chance to step back in time.”

The museum has three wings. The west wing is dedicated to the living styles of the 1800s and early 1900s.

“The west wing features children’s toys, musical instruments, a kitchen area and a spinning, weaving and quilting section,” Peak said. “It also has examples of clothing would have been worn by the different socio-economic groups and living areas.”

Another wing is dedicated to the Native American culture and there is also a section with Civil War and World War I weapons, uniforms and other artifacts.

“Agriculture occupies the east wing and has extensive collections of equipment, tools and implements used in a variety of occupations. Carpenters, loggers, farmers, blacksmiths and even moonshiners are represented. We also have printing equipment and equipment used by “number please” telephone operators.”

The museum’s Village Center is a representative of the downtown Troy area from the late 1800s with typical storefronts.

The museum also features a gift shop with many locally crafted items and locally made products.

In all, the museum can boast of more than 18,000 artifacts in the main building and more than 2,000 in the 22 historic buildings on the grounds.

“On the grounds, we have a general store, train station, grist mill, smokehouse, log barn, one-room schoolhouse, church, outhouse, covered bridge and several farms houses and other structures,” Peak said. “We also have walking trails, an observation area, picnic tables and an amphitheater.”

The Conecuh River Military Museum is on the museum grounds but is privately operated.

Admission to the Pioneer Museum of Alabama is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for students K-12. Children under the age of five are admitted free. There are special rates for Troy University students and military personnel with an ID.

The museum also honors Triple A discounts.