DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Struggle Museum will quickly have some technological and show upgrades because of the Vermilion County Board, and its allocation of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding from the federal authorities.
District Seven Board Member Jerry Hawker mentioned, “I wished to assist direct a few of these funds to organizations and teams in my district that work exhausting to serve the group however function on restricted budgets. So, I talked with Rhea and Larry Weatherford and realized that the Vermilion County Struggle Museum might use some assist. The museum is the closest neighbor to the county’s Administration Constructing, and I knew how exhausting they work to honor our veterans. As a substitute of telling them what I believed we’d prefer to donate for, I requested for an inventory of plans and areas that we might assist with for the museum.”
Hawker mentioned that his curiosity within the museum had been piqued about 4 years in the past when he and his granddaughter, Suzanne, attended an open home there.
“Suzanne was actually drawn into the tales and the individuals behind the artifacts as Larry gave us a tour. I knew then how vital this museum is to the group,” Hawker mentioned.
Hawker and County Board Chairman Larry Baughn visited the museum and talked with the Weatherfords who gave them a tour and identified what they felt may very well be executed to assist the museum transfer forward.
The 2 additionally talked with Museum Board President James Kouzmanoff, Treasurer Colletta Johnson, different board members and volunteers.
The primary merchandise on the Weatherfords’ want listing impressed each Hawker and Baughn. That’s a pc system that might include a Vermilion County Veteran Database, itemizing everybody from the realm who had served within the American Armed Forces, relationship again to Revolutionary Struggle Veterans who had moved to Vermilion County within the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. That itemizing would proceed during these serving at the moment. Along with the names which might crawl throughout an enormous LED display screen on the wall, entry to “scanned-in” photos, tales and unique paperwork shall be obtainable.
“We plan to digitize most of the collections we’ve got or have entry to for particular person service personnel and regiments. For instance, we’ll have scans of a number of hundred pages of paperwork, photos, speeches and tales about John Charles and William Black, each of whom have been awarded the Medal of Honor for his or her Civil Struggle service,” Larry Weatherford mentioned.
Whereas the museum options tens of hundreds of artifacts relationship again to the 1700’s, Weatherford says, “The entrance room on the southwest aspect of the constructing will change into our expertise room, with pc workstations, massive screens, and a touchscreen video kiosk put in for guests.”
Weatherford already has enlargement plans in thoughts for the system.
“I’d prefer to see us produce movies in a small studio in the identical room. These will give attention to completely different eras of American historical past and on sure subjects such because the Medal of Honor recipients from this space,” he mentioned.
Board member Tara Auter added, “We additionally plan to file movies of veterans and their descendants to maintain their tales alive for generations to return. A number of of our volunteers and board members have broadcast, video manufacturing and public talking expertise which might help make this occur.”
Finally, Weatherford envisions including extra video kiosks in different elements of the constructing and a mini-theater.
Baughn mentioned, “The museum and all the various volunteers work so exhausting to maintain updated with all of the historical past for your complete county. I’m glad we might assist future generations be taught extra of the influence their ancestors had in our native historical past. The battle museum tells such an vital story to our youth at the moment, we’ve got to ensure the sacrifices made by our native service women and men are all the time right here for future generations to be taught from.”
“We see the video system as our first step in serving to the battle museum,” Hawker mentioned. “There are different areas which were identified to us the place I feel the county might help make the museum much more of a showplace to honor our veterans.”
Weatherford agreed, “The county’s curiosity in serving to the museum is drastically appreciated and can enable us to make strides forward technologically and aesthetically. It’s exhausting to precise how grateful we’re for this help and assist.”
Broadcast and digital engineer Alan Woodrum of IAC Communications is designing, constructing and putting in the video system for the battle museum.