Princeton Historical Society begins phase 2 of museum renovation

The Princeton Historical Society launched phase 2 of their renovation of the Folklore Museum, 630 West Water Street during their dinner and speaker event on Friday, August 26. Vickie Wielgosh announced that evening, “We are here for two reasons, to hear a great speaker and to launch fundraising for phase 2 of the renovation of the Folklore Museum.”
Wielgosh pointed to a display board that showed the plans for the final placement of artifacts in the back half of the Folklore Museum which was just recently cleared of an antique proof press and all the typeset to facilitate the improvements. The press is being stored in donated space at the American House but will be featured prominently in the finished display.
Wielgosh shared her vision for the future renovations with Berlin Journal Newspapers. She said, “We want to create a space of discovery for visitors. Instead of a straight walkway, we will be creating a meandering path that brings to mind window shopping on an old time main street.”
“The idea for a wandering path became necessary when we determined we would have to incorporate three structural supports in the center of the space that is being renovated. But the maze-like pathways allow us to incorporate more surface areas and allow us to create more visual displays.”

“We also intend to include a large overhead door at the back of the museum to allow easier access for larger artifacts, like the antique proof press, to be moved in and out of displays. In the end, we hope phase 2 will create more of an adventure than a straight walk through a museum.”
The Princeton Historical Society has a large collection of artifacts but is always looking for more donations about Princeton history. Topics of display areas planned for phase 2 include military service, community service, government, manufacturing, agriculture, communications, schools,
churches, and arts and entertainment.
The Princeton Historical Society intends to spend the next two weeks completing the removal of debris and artifacts from the back portion of the Folklore Museum in preparation for the installation of electricity, insulation, and heating and cooling systems. The floor is already installed, and the walls are solid block. Wielgosh said, “We are starting with newer building construction in the back half of the museum. For phase 1 we had to restore a building that was built in the 1800’s, the addition was added in the mid 1900’s and is more intact and workable. And we don’t have to worry about
The Princeton Historical Society is looking for volunteers for all aspects of phase 2 of the Folklore Museum renovation including clean-up, electrical work, insulation work, building work, and artifact refurbishment and distribution.
“It is my hope that by next summer there will be at least some results of phase 2 to have on display for the 175th celebration of the incorporation of the City of Princeton. It all depends on volunteers and donations,” said Wielgosh.
“This museum is a gift, the Princeton Historical Society has been gifted so much, materials, labor, artifacts. We want to collaborate with the community and give back a wonderful
interactive historic experience at the Folklore Museum. Our goal is to create this and gift the community of Princeton with our results.”

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