Monday, June 24, 2013

Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio

This is the parlor of the Garst House, now part of the Garst Museum.  Twenty years ago, Pat took Ceceila and me to this museum which is noted for its display of memorabilia of  Annie Oakley.  What I remembered most were Annie's beautiful clothes, the costumes she wore in the Wild West Shows and the evening gowns she wore when she was presented to presidents, kings, and queens.  I asked Tom to take me to the musum as part of my birthday celebration.  Here are photos of some of what we saw.

The museum doesn't look like it did twenty years ago.  There have at least two large additions built.

 Because Tom uses a scooter, we entered through the handicap entrance which is at the end of the usual tour.  The people in the office were pleasant, gave us maps and explained a bit about what we would see.

In the same area which was a large meeting room, we saw the first mention of Annie Oakley, little Miss Sharpshooter.

Greenville was originally a fort in the Northwest Territory, number 5 on the map.  It was here that a treaty was signed by "Mad" Anthony Wayne and native chiefs which opened Ohio to settlements by the new country of  the United States.    One section of the museum is devoted to the treaty and the events about it.  A nearby room gives information about native American cultures.

But back to our tour path.  Since we were walking the tour backward, we came first to the large display about transportation.

Twenty years ago, I don't believe this section of the museum existed.  Some of the vehicles were shown but not in an organized way as they are now.

The Iddings Special, a racing sprint car made in 1947 by Henry Meyer and originally powered by a 4-cylinder Offenhauser engine.

1947 model "Servi-Car" , a three-wheeled motorcycle made by Harley-Davidson for use by the Greenville Police Department.

The next large wing was called The Village Wing .  There were many shops whose windows we could look through to see an earlier way of life.

                                          The dentist's office

                                         The post office

Beyond this area were two rooms and a hall devoted to Annie Oakley.  (The musical, "Annie, Get Your Gun", is a fanciful version of her life.)  Her riding habit worn in later years was there and so was a robe that Frank Butler, her husband, gave her after they retired.  Here is her traveling trunk with show business memorabilia  displayed on it.

One room was centered around her personal life and the other room, around her professional life. 

A hall was filled with commercial products featuring Annie.  Here is one display.

BUT, all the beautiful gowns she wore when she was presented to the great people of her day were missing.  I was told they were..." being preserved in storage so they will not deteriorate."  I have seen much older clothing on display in other museums.  I am sorry to say I let not seeing the clothing affect my mood. I actually felt like crying.  I told both women I talked to I felt a portion of Annie's life was missing.  I had no idea she wore such beautiful stylish gowns until Pat brought me to the museum years ago. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh I would have been sad too..what ever are they saving them for..if not to be shown? If there are several in the collection they could rotate them in and out of storage. It looks like a real interesting place:)