It was time for the Depot Museum to spotlight its 2019 accomplishments during Monday’s monthly Rusk County Commissioners meeting.

Vickie Armstrong regaled the commissioners with the year’s events and attendance numbers.

The 2019 attendance was 35, 512 visitors, setting the 40-year attendance mark at nearly 700,000 people. 

“Over 150,000 of these were children who learned about the culture and history of Rusk County during a guided tour,” Armstrong said.

For the year, the museum added two permanent ticket booths. They also added Debi Beall to the list of employees. “I am very pleased with her enthusiasm and motivation,” Armstrong said.

Other improvements included repairs to the cabin in the Discovery Center; a support pole and steps were replaced in the depot building; The Arnold Outhouse received repairs and a fresh coat of paint; the walking cabin also had some floor boards replaced, and the Beall –Ross kitchen had some boards replaced and windows fixed.

According to Armstrong’s report, several of the area’s school districts have begun reserving dates for field trips. There were 38 such groups who visited the facilities last year. 

The museum hosted its 13th annual Grandparent’s Day in June to the tune of 66 individuals attending.

An educational event, Folk Art Day, saw 24 groups of school children, which totaled 572 people in all.

The historical commission had four meetings during 2019 and yarn works is held monthly at the museum.

Also according to Armstrong, the museum logged 6,201 volunteer hours, many of the hours of which were worked by historical commission volunteers.

The Depot Museum is also the site of the annual Heritage Syrup Festival, which takes place every November.

Other annual events included Farm Day in March, which is hosted by the county library, as well as the annual Easter eggs hunt. The facility also hosts various private parties for birthdays and such.

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