Pike Pioneer Museum was established in 1971

Published 7:07 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

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The Pike Pioneer Museum was established in 1971.  The museum is located on Highway 231 and is dedicated to preserving and presenting its collection of historical buildings, structures and exhibits to advance a greater knowledge and appreciation of the past.   In 1980, Margaret Pace Farmer attended a workshop and came back with some new ideas for the museum. 

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Exhibits at the Pike Pioneer Museum have recently undergone rearrangement to make them more life-like and interesting.

Following a workshop in “Interpreting the Humanities through Museum Exhibits,” Margaret Pace Farmer returned to Troy to put what she had learned into practice she said.

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The entire museum will be “relamped,” she said, to give more warmth and reality to the exhibits.  In the meantime, two sections, side-by-side, have been reworked to show how some Pike County residents lived around the turn of the century.

The open displays, with a natural barrier of old train station benches, show mannequins dressed in the styles of the era, furnishings and even linens which date to the early 1900s.  The poses are natural and the lighting emphasizes the colors without fading them.

In one scene, hanging tapestries and a piano from the Lightfoot home, topped by a lamp given the museum by Annie Laurie Crawley, show the interest in music and the arts which many residents of the country displayed.

In one corner is a secretary given the museum by Dr. E. M. Wright.  In the other scene, a child mannequin is tucked into a spool bed covered with embroidered sheets and an early quilt.

Family portraits on the wall are the ancestors of Marvin Carter of Fish Trap Bridge.

Everything is authentic, originally used by Pike County residents, Mrs. Farmer stressed.  Since everyone in the county didn’t live in this manner, other museum exhibits, such as the log cabin and tenant house on the museum grounds show other ways of life, she said.

All of it, she added, “is part of the mystique of the South.”

Mrs. Farmer attended the workshop Dec. 5-8 in Montgomery.  It was sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, she said, and provided by the American Association for State and Local History.

Once she has completed revamping the exhibits at the museum, she said, a  team of experts from the association will be in Troy to evaluate the changes.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.