Friday, March 25, 2011

Please DO Touch The Artifacts!

"Please Do Not Touch" signs are common at museums, and help to protect valuable historical artifacts from being damaged by casual handling.  But behind the scenes at The Williamson Museum, our trained collections volunteers DO touch!... wearing protective gloves, of course.  Two times a week, volunteers gather at the Museum to catalog artifacts from Williamson County's past.  Under the supervision of the Museum Curator, they measure, describe, and assess the condition of assorted objects ranging from love letters to chicken feeders and everything in between.  It's a great way for inquisitive volunteers to put their "hands on" history, while also helping The Williamson Museum document its growing collection of artifacts.

Here is a sampling of some of the approximately 500 artifacts that volunteers and Museum staff cataloged in the month of March:
  • 1941 program from a Georgetown High School production of "Headed for Eden"
  • Dust pan from Guarantee Electric Company
  • Instructions for opening a Belford Lumber Company safe
  • Pullman railcar uniform button
  • 1907 United States "Barber" dime
  • 1920 Liberty Hill High School diploma
  • Purple Heart awarded posthumously to Duncan S. Hughes for service in World War II
  • Tellus Company wood burning stove
  • Minutes from a meeting of a 1960s era Georgetown anti-segregation group
  • Photographs of workers mounting the goddess Themis statue onto the Williamson County Courthouse dome
If "Do Not Touch" signs leave you feeling a step removed from history, consider becoming a collections volunteer at The Williamson Museum!  No experience is necessary, and we'll train you on all the ins and outs of safely handling historical artifacts.  Contact the Museum at (512) 943-1670 for more information.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Archeology Day is Coming!

Archeology Day is just around the corner and we are working feverishly to make sure it is the most fun event of the year!  This week I had some dedicated volunteers come to “work day” to help with the preparation for the hands-on stations.  We are going to have a few new stations this year that will be exciting for the whole family- Caddo Trade Fair, Archeology Matters, a mock pottery dig and so much more! 

One of my favorite hands-on activities for this event is making a Native American rattle.  It is fun and easy, just my type of project.  There are 3 easy steps to making this cool musical instrument.  1.)  Take a nature walk or even out to your own backyard and find a good and sturdy y-shaped stick.  2.)  Tie a piece of raffia or twine around one arm of the “y”.  Thread a few beads onto the yarn.  Tie the other end of the yarn to the other end of the stick.  3.)  Make some magical music! 

If this sounds great to you, come join us on March 26th from 10am to 3pm at Berry Springs Park and Preserve at 1801 County Road 152 in Georgetown.  Admission is Free!

Miria Isbell

Thursday, March 10, 2011


One of the fantastic things about working at The Williamson Museum is you meet people visiting the area for the first time.   As an example just this morning we had two visitors from Iowa, two from Minnesota and two from the United Kingdom.  

It is a pleasure to engage our visitors discussing the Williamson Museum, our history, people and how great it is to live in Central Texas.   However, the best part for me is listening to the many wonderful compliments about The Williamson Museum. 

Jim Ross

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cracking the safe...

Hooray!, We have opened the Belford Lumber Company Safe!!
We originally acquired the safe when we were contacted in the fall of 2007 by Rachel Osgood from the City of Georgetown, notifying the then director that there was a large safe IN THE CITY DUMP!!!
It was so heavy, it required a crane to lift it out and transport it to a warehouse where it was kept for safekeeping. We estimated the safe weighs OVER 1,000lbs. It was rusted along the front, sides, bottom, and wheels, and we thought that the doors were rusted shut.
Today, the Director and I met with some local locksmiths and professional safe openers along with Virginia Stubbs, the President of the Georgetown Heritage Society to attempt to open the safe again.

After 1.5 hours of patient attempts at the combinations, our safecracker opened the one door of the safe, and the cheers of happiness rang through the warehouse!
We've included a few photos, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!