Mount Vernon News
 
 

By Mount Vernon News
February 5, 2013 8:57 am EST

 

MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Historical Society has not received any financial support from the county commissioners for several years, but as Museum Director James Gibson concluded his annual report to the commissioners, he said the society is requesting $5,000. The money would “support the many projects” outlined in his report, as well as other expenses anticipated in the near future, such as repair or replacement of equipment.

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He acknowledged that the county is still experiencing tight finances and did not push the issue and the commissioners did not say they would or would not provide any help.

Gibson outlined the programs the society provided in 2012, as well as some of the new items obtained by the museum in the past year.

Included in those items was a watercolor painting commissioned by Charles Cooper in the late 1800s to be used in company advertising campaigns, and a 4-foot-square photograph from the 1920s of about 30 Cooper engines installed at a gas transmission facility near Charleston, W.Va.

Rolls-Royce donated 10,000 black and white photos of Cooper-Bessemer products and installations from 1960 to 2000. The museum now has a collection of more than 25,000 Cooper photos, dating back to the 1920s.

Gibson brought with him one new acquisition, donated by Neal Haldeman, a mousetrap-powered car built in the 1950s by Joe Eyster. Eyster, 96, still volunteers at the museum and demonstrated the car for Twin Oak School students who visited the museum in April.

The slate of programs for 2013 already has several events planned, kicking off with a “Half-Century of News Photography” by News photographer Virgil Shipley on March 6 and “Knox County in the 1913 Flood” on April 3.

Clement Vallandigham’s famous Civil War speech of May 1863 will be the topic of a program in May; and on June 5, Dr. Thomas Greenslade will present a program on “Victorian Boys’ Novels: Horatio Alger and Others.”

In the fall, programs will look at “The Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812,” “Flora and Fauna of Knox County” and the annual “Salute to Knox County Veterans.”

The society will continue to work with students researching and portraying Knox County Civil War veterans; and the museum is creating a new, extensive exhibit on the Shalimar-Continental Can industry.

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