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Pioneer Museum reopens, encouraged by response

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama opened over the weekend without much fanfare on Thursday but, the weekend held much promise for the days to come.

“I was pleased, actually, very pleased, with the number of people who visited the museum on Friday and Saturday,” said Barbara Tatom, museum director. “On Friday, we had seven visitors and on Saturday, 21.  That might not seem liked a lot but, having been closed since March and people not traveling, the numbers were very encouraging.”

And, the visitors to the Pioneer Museum of Alabama included Troy and the surrounding area.

Visitors came from Florala, Enterprise, Ozark, Dothan, and Daleville which indicated that the museum was a destination, Tatom said. For those travelling to and from the beach, the Pioneer Museum was a worthwhile diversion.

“We have visitors from Birmingham and Haleyville in Alabama and also from Georgia, Louisiana, Arizona and Wisconsin,” Tatom said. “It was encouraging to have visitors from both the local area and those who were traveling through. The new billboards along Highway 213 are really helping get the word out to travelers.”

The comments from those who visited the museum were all positive and greatly appreciated, Tatom said.

“All visitors said they were impressed at what an ‘amazing’ collection we have and with the diversity of the exhibits,” she said. “A young boy especially liked the military display and, for the older people, the displays brought back a lot of memories of the way life used to be.”

Although the rain came on Saturday afternoon, Tatom said the visitors didn’t let that keep them for visiting the cabins, the log church, the train and other out-buildings.

“We ask visitors to maintain social distancing but masks are a personal choice,” Tatom said. “The museum is large so social distancing is easy and people usually stay within their groups.

“I was encouraged by the number of visitors we had on re-opening weekend and that we had local people as well as those who were traveling. Hopefully, as things continue to open up and people are traveling more, the Pioneer Museum of Alabama will have a busy summer.”

Tatom said museum’s annual memberships are available at very affordable rates. Individual memberships are $25 and family memberships at $60.

“The family members include all members of the family living in the household,” she said. “However, if grandparents are visiting from out of town, they will be included.”

The memberships run one year from the day they are accepted.

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information, call 334-566-3597.