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Museum Opens for 2009 Season

CAPTION: A roll-away kerosene-heated tub would have been a luxury in 1902. The unique piece, once owned by Bill and Shirley Tye and shown here by Dr. Frank Stark, is among thousands of historical items on display at the Grand River Historical Society Museum. The museum, located at 1401 Forest Drive (near United Methodist Church) is now open for the 2009 season, with its hours from 1 until 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through October. An open house will be this Sunday. Refreshments will be served and a number of attendance prizes awarded.

Have you ever wondered what Chillicothe was like 100 years ago? Or, what life in general was like? Well, a trip to Grand River Historical Society Museum in Chillicothe has the answers. And, a visit here will give you a glimpse of the people who helped develop our communities as well as instill appreciation of today's modern conveniences.

People often reflect on the olden days and say it was a simpler way of life. While those days may have been "simple" in terms of necessities back then, it certainly was not an easier way of life. The days of throwing dirty laundry into a box, dumping in detergent and turning a dial hadn't arrived yet. For washing clothes, washboards were the norm.

Just the process of keeping house was much more demanding than it is today. Can you imagine using a hand-powered vacuum cleaner to clean floors? Yes, this long cylinder-type instrument resembling a butter churn had a pole at one end in which the user would pump in order to suction dirt off the floor.

Or, what about using a flat iron to press your clothes in a day when permanent press (or household dryers, for that matter) didn't exist. The irons back then weren't ones that get plugged into the nearest outlet; but, rather, they were placed on hot stoves in order to get warm enough to flatten wrinkles.

These items are just a few of those on display in the Gist and Megaskey Secondhand store area of the Grand River Historical Society Museum. In this area also is a salesman's sample of a wood burning range, a 1926 Montgomery Ward Bluebird stove, an antique collection of kitchen utensils, a lard press, and much more. There are also old sewing machines, including one dating back to the 1850s, and several spinning wheels dating back to the Civil War days and earlier. The museum is filled with thousands of items, most of which were commonplace years ago. And, they are on display for public viewing.

A special invitation is being offered to the public for its annual open house from 1 until 4 p.m., this Sunday, April 19. Refreshments will be served and attendance prizes awarded each half-hour.

Also Sunday, David Pyrtle, a woodcarver from Chula, will be on hand and display some of his carvings. One of his most notable carvings is that of a life-sized native American which has been at the museum for many years. The statue was carved from a tree trunk and then painted.

The museum is open from 1 until 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through October.

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