PLYMOUTH — Writing, planning, dedication and fundraising are a few of the words to describe the task of putting together a special surprise at the Marshall County Historical Museum. Now, almost 10 years later, the hard work has paid off and is ready to be shown to the public eye. This Saturday, the museum is hosting the grand opening of the Boy Scout exhibit room.
“The challenging parts were raising the funds for it and the renovations that took about 10 years to complete,” said Clarence Shively, the man behind the idea for this particular room.
As a collector of these items for 20 years, he had the opportunity to seek out some interesting and quite old items. He noticed that the museum did not have any Boy Scout memorabilia for the public to see, so he asked for a room dedicated to scouting. Unfortunately, the museum did not have any room for this at the time.
With persistence and plenty of patience, Shively was offered a deal. If he could raise a $10,000 donation to the museum, then he could have the room he wanted. In the end, he was able to raise the money that he needed, and his dream became a reality.
He said, “I am ecstatic that it is finally complete.”
This room is filled with artifacts, uniforms, and pieces of Boy Scout history. Some items were donated by Scouts, but a good portion of them were donated by Shively himself.
Liz Garza, museum curator, has been working with Shively on this exhibit for a year now.
“I know that there is a scouting museum, but it is not nearby, which is a drawback,” said Garza. “People were not able to see the history of scouting (before this exhibit room).
With this new room, individuals are able to see different parts of history and many artifacts in a place that is close to home. Shively hopes that the addition of this room will “develop a strong history of scouting in scouters. Also, that scouters will find it interesting to learn about scouting in our area.”
Many different pieces of the history of scouting will be presented this Saturday. There are original Air Scout and Sea Scout uniforms and a General Eisenhower award from WWII. This award is given to an individual who shows immense leadership. A Boy Scout troop in 1945 conducted a waste paper Campaign for the war for which they received the General Eisenhower award for showing leadership and service to their community. There will also be a panel of pictures of famous Boy Scouts, of which two were from Marshall County.
Shively is particularly fond of thee General Eisenhower award and the original scout uniforms because “it is a rarity for something that old to be able to be displayed for everyone to see.”
The grand opening of the exhibit room will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. Mayor Mark Senter and the Eagle Scouts will be there to kick off the opening. Refreshments will be served and the model trains will still be operating at their regular time.