Downing House Museum Announces Amended Summer Schedule
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Featuring the: Downing House Museum, Boyer House, Memphis Depot, Carriage House, Summer Kitchen, Soldier in the Field Statue, & Gorin School Bell
The Downing House Museum at 311 S. Main Street will open on a modified schedule for 2020. Volunteers will be available to provide tours on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. beginning on Wednesday, July 22nd and concluding on Wednesday September 9th. Visitors may also be accommodated on other days by appointment if volunteers are available. The museum phone number is (660) 465-2259, if there is no answer call (660) 465-2195 or 2510.
The complex consists of the Downing House, the Boyer House, the Summer Kitchen, the Carriage House, the historic Memphis Depot, the Soldier in the Field statue, and the Gorin School Bell.
“At this time, we ask that groups be no larger than 6 people. Masks are optional,” said volunteer Rhonda McBee. “Visitors can tour the entire complex for $5. Anyone who is younger than 10 years of age is admitted free with an adult. The museum tour requires walking and climbing stairs, so keep this in mind and wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Air conditioning is available on the first floor of the Downing House, but the other buildings are not equipped.”
During 2019, supporters replaced the three storm windows down the front/tower part of the Downing House. The old wooden windows were rotted due to run off and age. This came at an expense of nearly $5,000 due to the arched shape of the windows that required special ordering.
“Each year, we try to set a goal to replace and maintain our complex,” said McBee. “For 2020, we are looking at the veranda at the main entrance as well as the veranda above the main entrance. For the past three winters the floors have been buckling which causes a tripping hazard. With the age of our facilities, the upkeep is ongoing.”
As a fundraiser, the museum collects aluminum cans. To donate cans, please leave them on the porch of the Downing House. Also available are rag rugs and coverlets for sale at the museum gift shop. The Museum relies heavily on the generous donations and contributions from its loyal patrons to keep the buildings maintained and repairs made.
The Downing House, Pheasant Airplane & the Wiggins Family Museums were all featured in the September 11, 2019 edition of the Memphis Magazine that focuses on all the cities named Memphis.
“A reporter visited Memphis and interviewed several locals to gather information and pictures of our town to include in the edition,” said McBee. “If you have not had a chance to see it, it is well worth having a look.”
Organizers are exploring a different format for the annual “Evening at the Museum – Candlelight Tour of the Past” for the 3rd weekend in October at the Complex, so watch the group’s Facebook page and the Memphis Democrat for updates on the event.
“We look forward to another year and fulfilling our mission of: ‘Working to preserve the local history of Scotland County for future generations’,” said McBee.