The Washington Historical Society Museum will reopen this Thursday, March 1, following its annual winter hiatus in January and February.

The museum will be open late Thursday for members only from 4 to 6 p.m. Wine and cheese and other refreshments will be available.

The Four Rivers Genealogy Society also will resume its regular hours in the Ralph Gregory Library March 1.

Marc Houseman, museum director, said a major project completed over the winter break was relighting the entire museum and library.

“LED lighting was installed throughout the facility, and in many locations we now have motion sensors to trigger the lights when a visitor is approaching the exhibits,” he said.

This project, which was partially grant funded, was completed for safety and efficiency reasons, Houseman said.

“The 30-year-old fluorescent lights were literally beginning to burn up and the energy being used was increasingly more expensive,” he said.

The museum is now as “green” as possible, he said, while maintaining an adequate amount of lighting that is comfortable for visitors and researchers.

Houseman said the Schwarzer zither collection also has been expanded and improved, thanks in part to the newly formed “Schwarzer Zither Ensemble” which meets regularly at the museum to rehearse their zither playing skills.

“This group also has developed a keen interest in the Washington-made instruments and their history,” he said. “Zithers previously unseen will now be part of the display and other objects relative to Washington’s zither story will be exhibited as well.

The Four Rivers Genealogy Society’s library staff also has been busy with its book inventory and updating, as needed, its catalogue.

Several new books about local history are available for purchase in the museum’s gift shop.

“I’m excited for the public to see the museum under the new lighting,” Houseman said. “The entire place looks better and this, along with the other improvements, should make for another great season.”

The museum will be open six days a week from March 1 through December 23. The hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.

The genealogy library will be open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Wednesday through Sunday from 1-4.

The facility is closed on Mondays and major holidays.