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Jefferson County Museum celebrates 50th anniversary and 2015 opening with public reception

By Staff | Feb 27, 2015

The Jefferson County Museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary and the opening of the 2015 season with a free, public reception on Saturday, March 14.

The public is invited to the reception to see the museum’s redesigned gallery, including four new exhibits, celebrate the museum’s 50 years of service, and learn about the new Fund for the Future campaign to finance new exhibits, conservation upgrades, and acquisitions. Beginning at 1 p.m., the reception will include light appetizers and refreshments, as well as remarks from the museum’s director, Jane Rissler, around 2 p.m. The museum will remain open until 4 p.m. and will resume regular hours on March 17.

In honor of the museum’s 50th anniversary, museum staff and volunteers have been hard at work installing a new reception area, rearranging and updating exhibit cases to create a more thematic and cohesive visitor experience, and creating a new website. Four new exhibits are Jefferson County in Photos: Then & Now; Womanmade Works of Art; War in Words, a rotating collection of Civil War letters by soldiers and Jefferson County residents; and Selections from the Battaile Muse Papers, newly acquired documents of George Washington’s Shenandoah Valley land agent.

As it celebrates the past, the museum is also looking to the future by launching a campaign to raise $50,000 for a Fund for the Future. The goal is to make the Jefferson County Museum the go-to history destination for county residents and tourists. To do this, the museum must develop modern exhibits using new technology to draw visitors of all ages and ethnic groups, care for the extraordinary collection using modern conservation tools, and, finally, add judiciously to the collection so that it represents the full history of the county. Just as donations from generous supporters have helped sustain it for 50 years, the museum hopes the community will continue this tradition by donating to the Fund for the Future-to ensure that our county’s rich heritage is preserved for our children and grandchildren.

The Jefferson County Museum was founded in 1965 with the mission to preserve the history and heritage of the county. Its extraordinary collection encompasses a wide range of artifacts and documents from early Native American activities and the European colonization in the 1700s through the 21st century war on terrorism. The museum is open from mid-March through mid-December, Tuesdays Saturdays, 11 a.m. 4 p.m. Admission is $3; children under 18, students and members of the Charles Town Library are free.

For more information on the 2015 opening reception or the Fund for the Future, contact director, Jane Rissler, at 304-725-8628 or jrissler@frontier.com. To learn more about the Jefferson County Museum, visit the museum’s new website at www.jeffcomuseumwv.org or Facebook Page at facebook.com/jeffersoncountymuseum.