Newburgh opens its first town museum - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Newburgh opens its first town museum

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Dozens gathered at Preservation Hall to get their first look at a piece of Indiana history. Dozens gathered at Preservation Hall to get their first look at a piece of Indiana history.
NEWBURGH, IN (WFIE) -

Saturday, Newburgh opened the doors to it's first town museum. Dozens gathered at Preservation Hall to get their first look at a piece of Indiana history.

The Newburgh Foundation Corporation tells 14 News the museum isn't just about the physical artifacts, it's about telling the story of their town.

"I am just amazed at even in my lifetime how Newburgh, the town, has just blossomed," said resident Rebecca Benigni.

For Newburgh residents like Rebecca, Newburgh's first museum is already a hit.

"There are so many shops and stores and now we have a place where we can come and see all the pictures of everything people have shared."

Bill Bartelt, President of the Newburgh Foundation Corporation says the artifacts came from the town of Newburgh and from residents' private collections. That includes what the museum says is most likely Newburgh's first piano.

A "changing exhibit", which is right now a makeshift Civil War hospital room, and even personal items like a dress worn to high school graduation over a century ago.

"It's important to realize that right here in Newburgh, we're part of the Civil War. Right here, we're part of the mining industry," Bartelt said.

"We just didn't want to lose any more of our history because we're a very old town and we want it to be a part of our city," said Newburgh Museum Board Member Wanda Kavanaugh.

Saturday, while some museum-goers reminisced, recognizing former classmates and teachers in videos and pictures, others like Benigni say they'll be back soon, bringing family and friends.

"It's so exciting to me just to be able to see what's happened in my lifetime and then to be able to share that with my daughter and keep those stories going," Benigni said.

The museum will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and museum officials say they're looking for volunteers.

For more information, you can call the museum at 812-853-5045.

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