Ellis County Museum

(What follows is an update from the Ellis County Museum’s September newsletter on the capital campaign that’s funding a major renovation to the building.)

We are revamping our capital drive to push us across the finish line and raise the final $500,000. We have had two brainstorming meetings and have five new members on the team. They are bringing fresh thoughts and ideas. Our focus now is to target Ellis County industries. We are working on a list and finding the proper individual at each industry. We are also making a new two-minute video that we can use when we make our fundraising push. We are also making appointments with a few key people in Ellis County that hopefully will result in new leads. We will continue to meet often to establish momentum and keep it going!

The city’s Heritage Preservation Commission has approved the museum’s design for the gate to the elevator entrance. You can be the sponsor for $15,000. The design follows the general design for the adjacent door to the second floor.

Work to cap the elevator shaft will begin soon. All of the construction debris has been cleared so the crew can begin. The elevator installation crew plans to begin installation of the elevator itself mid-September. You won’t have to walk up those stairs anymore.

The third floor around where the elevator will be and the raised stage in the ballroom are being lowered to be level with the main floor and hallways. There is also a raised section around the big room that will have to be lowered. The contractor had informed us when his crew comes to do the work they will not leave before it is finished. It will be beautiful.

The sprinkler systems have been installed on the first and second floor and work is proceeding on the third floor.

For safety, a new fireproof stairway will be run from the third floor, through the first-floor ceiling above the Ellis County history displays to a stairway down the south wall. It will be enclosed and exit through the side window of the southern-most window set. This will cause a short closure of the museum because of the dust generated.

Last, but not least, the wonderful woodwork on the top floors will not be refinished or modified. Jeff Smith, our restoration specialist, will clean the doors, wainscotting and other wood using proper restoration methods.

For more information on the museum, membership and the capital campaign, including upcoming fundraising events, contact curator Shannon Simpson at ecmuseum@sbcglobal.net or 972-937-0681. The museum is located at 201 S. College St. The website address is www.elliscountymuseum.org.

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