Museum gets more space

PARKERSBURG – The Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley will have more space for storage thanks to the local electric workers union.

IBEW Local Union 968 recently allowed the museum to use the space on the upper floor in the building housing the museum at 1829 Seventh St. for storage and other needs.

Museum Director Gary Farris said the museum was running out of space in its current storage facilities. Things have been so tight the museum has not been able to get to certain items in its collection that it wanted to put on display.

”We just don’t have the space to put anything else,” he said. ”We have stuff stacked in the museum that we don’t have a place to put it.

”I wanted to get an old newspaper to have it framed, but I couldn’t get to it because we had so much stuff.”

Farris wants to move things, like file cabinets, tables and stands, out of where they are storing their collections into the newly available space above the museum. The space has a number of rooms and was once apartment space.

”The electrical union said we could use as much space upstairs as we wanted,” Farris said. ”At one point, we were going to have to rent a storage unit.

”It was very nice of them to let us have that space up there.”

A volunteer was up there Thursday cleaning up the space, getting it ready to begin the process of putting material up there late Thursday afternoon.

They are planning to remove all the non-essential items from their storage areas where they have climate control with heaters and dehumidifiers as well as acid free storage boxes they bought with grant money for their collection and the things they want to preserve, Farris said.

Once those non-essential things are removed, they are planning to rearrange their storage space to allow better access to a number of items in their collection as well as make room for new donations, he added.

”When people bring in donations, you never know what they have,” Farris said. ”They could have something very unique that we do not have on display.”

He wanted to keep being able to take in new donations to preserve the local military history of the area.

”Now we have plenty of room and we can take a lot more items,” Farris said.

Farris owns another building in Parkersburg that is filled with donations for the museum and there are spaces elsewhere in the area, including the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, with donations for the museum, mostly items that can be used to display items in a museum setting.

Museum officials are still trying to locate a building where they can move the museum to have adequate space to display a larger portion of its collection.

”If we ever get a 5,000-square-foot building, we have all of this to fill it,” Farris said. ”I think we could be a big draw for Parkersburg.”