Downing House Museum Complex: End of Season 2021 News
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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 Museum at 311 S. Main Street ended the summer tour season on Thursday, September 2, 2021. Painting and maintenance on the Downing House and the Boyer House will begin in September 2021 so tours may be limited even by appointment during the fall. We make a good effort to accommodate visitors, however it often depends on availability of volunteers. The museum phone number is (660) 465-2259, if there is no answer call (660)465-2195 or (660)465-2510.
To celebrate Missouri’s 200th birthday on Tuesday August 10th, the Museum Complex hosted a free outdoor movie on the west lawn of the Downing House. The Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri provided free hot dogs and chips for about 75 community patrons.
The Downing House Museum Complex was open on Saturday during the Scotland County Antique Fair. Admittance was a free will donation, and several families and visitors enjoyed viewing the grounds, buildings, and artifacts. Volunteers were available to answer questions and provide tours. The Rutledge School Restoration Committee hosted a lawn party luncheon after the parade.
During 2020, we replaced the floors of the verandas at the main entrance, above the main entrance and on the north. For the past 3 winters the floors buckled and became a tripping hazard. Along with the fall painting project in 2021, the installation of new furnaces in the Downing House along with central air conditioning on the first floor was completed. The Museum relies heavily on the generous donations and contributions from our loyal patrons and volunteers to keep the buildings maintained and repairs made and for this we are grateful. As a fundraiser, the museum collects aluminum cans. If you would like to donate cans, please leave them on the porch of the Downing House. Available for sale are rag rugs, coverlets, and books at the museum gift shop.
The Scotland County Genealogical Society sadly disbanded and sold their building. The Downing House Museum Complex has taken some of their research and records. We are in the process of organizing and finding space to house the valuable research, documents, and records. The Genealogical Society generously donated the proceeds of their building to the Scotland County Historical Society. Artifacts/records will be available for patrons at the Museum Complex, however researching family genealogy will not a service we can provide.
We are exploring options for the annual “Evening at the Museum – Candlelight Tour of the Past” for October 15th and 16th at the Complex. A “bring your own chairs or blankets” format is being considered. The audience would be seated on the West Side of the Downing House lawn and each character would come out to give their narration. Watch our Facebook page and the Memphis Democrat for updates on the event.
We had another grand year fulfilling our mission of: “Working to preserve the local history of Scotland County for future generations.”