While you're in the Van Buren area for Ozark Heritage Day (see June 8 post) or for any other reason this summer, make time for a stop at the Pioneer Museum in Ellsinore. This might be one of the smallest museums you'll ever visit, but it is packed full of community pride.
The museum is a labor of love by a team of area volunteers, led by Virgie Carter Alcorn Evans, a long-time resident. Founded in 1983, the museum is going strong, offering a series of summer Saturday events that make it worth your while to make a detour.
Even when there's no demonstration scheduled, the museum has a lot to offer. Most of the exhibits are donations or loans from local people, and range from furniture to fiber arts to World War I and II memorabilia to Native American artifacts, and more.
"The museum's goal is to preserve the local history of the community, promote it, and help develop an appreciation for it," says Virgie. It is an eclectic collection.
There's a small cooperative gift shop with hand-crafted items by local artists.
The Pioneer Museum, 11 South Herren Avenue, Ellsinore, 63937, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays from June through August. It is one-half mile north of Highway 60 on Route V. There is no admission fee; donations are appreciated. For more information, call the museum at 573-322-0102.
This summer's series of visiting artists and performers includes:
June 13: Making Soap and Churning Butter, presented by Virgie Alcorn, Dee Raymer and Marie Carter.
June 20: Rug Weaving on a Four-Harness Loom, by Shirley Bloecher.
June 27: Quilts With a Story, by Marie Carter and Betty Smith. (Please bring an old quilt with you and share its story.)
July 4: The Civil War in Missouri, by Milton C. Lindsay, of the Sterling Price Camp of the Sons of The Confederacy. (Please bring any family history of the Civil War in Missouri with you to share. This event will honor all veterans.)
July 11: Gourds and Their Uses and Their Art, by Katie Ellis.
July 18: Old Dishes We Cherish, by Viola Crites. (Please bring a few old dishes you cherish with you to share.)
July 25: Working with Wool, by Suzi Vause and Susie Carter.
August 1: Logging History and Logging Tools of the Carter County Area, by Dr. James Price.
August 8: Home Crafts, by Nancy Wyrck.
August 15: Makin’ Do: how to recycle greeting cards to make a box. (Bring greeting cards with you to make your own box to take home.)
August 22: Pottery Demonstration and Hands-on Clay Building, by local potter David Porter.
August 29: One-Room School House.