Remodeling nearly complete at Historical Society museum

A major remodeling initiative at the Marshall County Historical Society Museum, 202 E. Church St. is nearly complete.

“Big changes,” is how HSMC volunteer Scott Mason of Marshalltown fittingly described the effort requiring 2.5 months of work while he looked over new lighting and exhibits on the museum’s second floor Wednesday, all done

to better communicate the county’s rich history to visitors.

New carpeting, wall coverings, remodeling of exhibit areas, and an interactive map display are just a few of the improvements.

Juli Hinson, administration, said not all work is done, but workers and volunteers are targeting April 30 to finish.

It is the first major remodeling undertaken at the museum in five years, according to Mason.

One key improvement delighted volunteer Susan Williams.

A room, when finished, has been dedicated to portray the role Marshall County women played in the county’s development.

“Not enough has been said or recorded about the important role women had in county history,” Williams said. “Women helped build this town and county.”

Another second floor exhibit will acknowledge the critical role of Marshalltown industry.

Years ago, Marshalltown was referred to as “Little Pittsburgh,” due to innovations pioneered by William Fisher, Dave Lennox and Williams brothers, the later establishing Marshalltown Trowel, know known as Marshalltown Co.

“We’ll primarily focus on the ‘Big Three’ – Fisher Controls, Lennox and Marshalltown Co.,” Hinson said, “but also recognize others, like Dunham Bush.”

A new exhibit housed on the second floor highlights the career of Dale Paulin – a Marshalltown native who appeared in the film “It’s a Small World” and who made numerous Philip Morris cigarette commercials – all reflected in exhibits.

Hinson said some of the remodeling work was tedious, and credited the patience of volunteers and contractors.

“We had five layers of very old wallpaper that had to be removed,” she said.

One facet of operations not impacted was the Genealogy Library on the museum’s first floor. It has – and will remain open until all work is completed.

It will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 4 p.m and the first and third Saturdays from 10 to 2 p.m.

“All of this would not have been possible without the conscientious efforts by our contractors, volunteers and donors,” said Williams. “We are very grateful.”

For more information contact 641-752-6664.