Museum event a ‘gift’ to the community

Published 6:24 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama hosted Old Time Christmas Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The event drew hundreds of visitors who enjoyed storytelling, crafts, caroling and demonstrations.

Old Time Christmas at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama was, once again, a great success as visitors stepped back in time to enjoy an old fashioned Christmas over the weekend.

Jerry Peak, museum director, said all three nights were well attended and visitors expressed appreciation to the museum for its gift of the season.

“Old Time Christmas is our gift to the community in appreciation for the support that we receive throughout the year,” Peak said. “Christmas is a time for giving and the museum staff and volunteers enjoy the opportunity to give something special to our community at this time of the year.”

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There is no charge for Old Time Christmas so it’s a good time to revisit the museum or to visit it for the first time.

“Old Time Christmas would not be possible without our volunteers,” Peak said. “Our entertainment in the Village Center was presented by the Benton Brothers, Alex and Lee, and the Mount Olive Assembly of God Choir. John Phil McLaney, Jean Sasser, Jean Barr and Lyra Crapps played the pump organ and led the singing at the log church.

Agnes Johnson had the home fires burning in the demonstration cabin and visitors were invited to roast marshmallows over the open fire and sip chocolate hot off the wood stove.”

Ken Sunberg taught shape note singing and Grover Poole and Louis Glayre were the guides at the Adams General Store.

Jerry Vinson and K.T. Valkyrie were the schoolmaster and marm and Tonya Gibson and her Girl Scouts made ornaments for the schoolhouse Christmas tree.

“We will keep the ornaments that the Scouts made and use them again next year for tree decorations,” Peak said. “Patty Case was our Christmas storyteller and she captivated her audiences each night. And, of course, Old Father Christmas stopped by each night to hear the Christmas wishes of the little boys and girls.”

Peak also expressed appreciation to the vendors whose craft items added to the shopping fun at the museum gift shop and to the Humane Society of Pike County for its participation.

The Salvation Army bell ringers provided a familiar sound of the season and more than 200 nonperishable food items were donated to area food banks.

Although Old Time Christmas is over, Christmas is still being celebrated at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

“We invite everyone to visit the museum which is decked out for Christmas,” Peak said. “Visiting the museum is a fun way to spend time with the children or grandchildren when they are out of school. And, too, museum memberships make wonderful Christmas gifts. Family memberships are $35; individual memberships are $20.

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and on Sunday afternoons but will close at noon Christmas Eve.