In these days of “cancel culture” – where some folks are trying to obliterate some parts of history – it’s a refreshing change to see that Houston and Chickasaw County treasure their history, and are making it accessible to as many people as possible.

As proof, The Chickasaw County Heritage Museum – perhaps those who operate it should be called the “culture keepers” – is participating in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP), which is administered by the American Alliance of Museums.

The museum, and all it offers, stays busy throughout the year, and saw steady trade during last week’s Flywheel Festival.

Through guided self-study assessment and on-site consultation with a museum professional, the MAP will let the museum better serve the citizens of Chickasaw County by meeting, and hopefully exceeding, the highest professional standards of the museum field.

The MAP assessment will help the museum develop long-term plans, improve organizational effectiveness and implement a sustainable funding strategy.

The program is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and by local anonymous donors.

The museum is already a local treasure trove of history, and the MAP assessment program will help it shine even more.

Consider what the museum already offers:

--Under the direction of the Chickasaw County Historical and Genealogical Society, a research library houses historical records available to anyone interested in researching their family history.

--The society also collects, maintains, and displays records, documents, artifacts, and photographs displaying the cultural heritage of Chickasaw County as part of the museum.

--CCH&G has conducted supported or participated in the following programs: Flywheel Festival, Craft Show, Fundraiser, Car Show, Chili Cook Off, Houston Homecoming, Piano Recital, Holiday Open House, public history programs, student writing projects and many school field trips.

The CCH&G campus includes the Research Center, Pioneer Barn, Blacksmith Shop, Agricultural Display Shed, 3 acres shaded and landscaped located adjacent to City Park, and handicapped access parking.

The Heritage Museum houses exhibits of Chickasaw County musicians, Chickasaw County military history, local fossils, Native American artifacts, school days, local businesses, photography (prints), plants (live), textiles and costumes, tools, toys, dolls, transportation (excluding airplanes), works of art on paper, and more.

The Museum’s latest acquisition, thanks to efforts by James E. Clark: A beautifully restored 1927 Ford donated by Mrs. Peggy Dudley in Calhoun City.

The museum came from a small group of Houstonians with a sincere interest and desire to do their part in preserving the past. They first met in 1979. This group consisted of James Clark, Joe and Libba Criddle, Mrs. Mary Hickman, Mrs. Virginia Ellard, Robert Porter and Robin and Shirley Mathis.

The museum is located at 304 East Woodland Circle, Houston, and is open Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Friday noon – 4 p.m. Contact numbers are posted on both buildings. It is staffed with volunteers; CCH&G has no paid employees. If a volunteer is not present, they’re only a call away.

Appointments can be made by calling 662-456-6053. CCH&G’s monthly meeting is the third Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. in the Research Center. Annual membership is $20 individual and $30 family.

If you’d like to do more than donate, consider this possibility: In the past year this organization has lost six volunteer members to death. They are actively seeking new members and partners for future projects.

Studies have shown America’s museums to be among the country’s most trusted and valued institutions. MAP is designed to make them even better.”

“Our motto is ‘Preserving the past for the future,’ said Shirley Sisk, president of CCH&G.

We think the museum is doing a wonderful job of meeting that goal, and we think area folks feel the same way.

For more information: Go to Facebook- Chickasaw County Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc., www.chickasawcountyhistorical.com

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