Elgin Courier

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Future plans for Depot Museum outlined

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Posted: Tuesday, February 6, 2018 3:30 pm

After the memorial service for the late Ann Helgeson, beloved and respected archivist of The Elgin Depot Museum, co-presidents Donna Snowden, Debra Cartwright and new acting archivist Debbie Wahrmund were interviewed regarding their thoughts, plans and goals for the future.

Debra: The City of Elgin owns this building, and The Elgin Historical Association has a contract with the city, which runs until 2027. The city has been an excellent partner, with maintenance and upkeep of this facility.

Donna: One our goals is to grow the association’s membership by the use of social media, such as Facebook and The City of Elgin’s website.

Debra: The historical preservation of documents is very important to us. We will continue to provide sources to the community on the story of Elgin, so anyone can “discover” Elgin on their own.

Debbie: Donations of photos and papers on Elgin’s founding are vital to research by our citizens on their families.

As the Acting Archivist, my short-term goals are to organize and document the existing archives, and to solicit volunteers to help with those files. We need to do marketing, but as an archivist, I cannot do this job alone. I must depend on the members of the Elgin Historical Association for content, and for their rich knowledge of the people of this area. I would like to enable members to perform basic research, so they can help others and “spread the wealth” of connections to past and current families.

My long-term goals are to train and work with the docents and other volunteers who set up exhibits. I plan to help them develop training materials to teach others to assist during special events, such as the upcoming Local Lore on April 21. 

I hope to streamline processes with new volunteers to manage better the volume of material we keep in climate-controlled archives, where there are shelves of artifacts in acid-free storage. We hope to include public access electronically in the future as we strive to maintain the museum’s online presence which Debra mentioned, as well as scanning the Elgin Courier, while cataloging and preserving our rare and vintage photos dating back to 1872.

Finally, I envision that we will have more children’s hands-on activities, but it all depends on our members’ energies and interest. Making The Elgin Depot Museum the “Jewel of Elgin” as it was envisioned is our major goal, as it promotes the betterment of our city. And besides, it is quite fun to discover all these layers of history which make the community great! 

Donna: I agree totally. In order to have the necessary funding to accomplish these goals, the most successful fundraiser we have had was a wine and cheese celebration where we raised thousands of dollars.

Debbie: There are several ways a person can contact us for more information regarding making a donation, joining the Elgin Historical Association, hours, etc: 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ElginDepotMuseum; or Elgin Historical Association, PO Box 1234, Elgin TX 78621; Phone: 512-285-2000; Email: elgindepot@gmail.com.

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