Pioneer Museum plays important role in sharing heritage

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In 1971, visionaries Curren and Margaret Farmer founded the Pioneer Museum of Alabama with a singular vision: “that others might learn from the past.”

For 45 years, the museum has quietly and methodically amassed one of the largest collections of pioneer-era artifacts in the South. From farm implements to household items, books to clothes, photos to collectibles, the museum offers an incredible insight into the day-to-day life found in rural Alabama in the 1800s.

Moreover, the museum’s hands-on learning programs impart that history on new generations, from Pioneer Days where students learn how to make kudzu jelly or shoe a horse, to quilting bees, where talented artisans continue the art of hand-crafting the not-so-humble quilts that provided comfort and warmth.

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Visitors at any time can feed chickens, visit a demonstration cable to learn how t fry cornbread or church butter, see how cotton is spun into yarn and learn about horses, mules and history.

It is truly a treasure.

That’s why it’s reassuring to see so many people in Pike County invest in the museum’s future by supporting the annual fund-raising efforts. Generous donations provide the bulk of operating funds for the Pioneer Museum, and organizers depend on the generosity of the public to continue to expand and grow the programs and collections.

These funds help bring history to life for thousands of school children across the region each year, and thousands more adults and families who visit the museum for a chance to learn and experience.

We take for granted the wealth of history and information available at the museum, and having the opportunity to give pause once and year and make a thoughtful, generous gift to support the museum is important.

After all, we  need to make sure the next generation “might learn from the past” just as we have been able to do.