PITTSBURG — History is on the move at the Crawford County Historical Museum.
Roughly 40 volunteers helped restore and reorganize exhibits during the museum's first workday on Saturday. From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., volunteers — under the guidance of Amanda Minton, president of the board of directors, helped revamp the museum.
"If you have visited the museum in the past and want to come back, you will be in for a big surprise," said Minton, who anticipates the museum reopening in March.
Minton, a history lecturer at Pittsburg State University, was part of the new board formed after the museum closed in early 2015.
Grant funds have been awarded by the county and the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau and require the museum to meet certain guidelines.
The guidelines include being opened by June and then being open certain days of the week.
The grant money is a big boost, but the museum is also in need of a new heating and air system, roof repairs and cosmetic work on the floors. Minton said donations are welcome.
And, of course, the museum can always use volunteers like Kelly Smith.
Smith, a sophomore at Notre Dame home for winter break, was one of the volunteers at the first workday. Smith, who aspires to be a museum curator, said she heard about the workday from her mom.
"I just find history incredibly fascinating ... you have an opportunity to tell a story in a way that you don't through any other venue," Smith said, adding "I think if we don't recognize where we came from, we won't be able to move forward."
For heavy lifting, the museum was lucky enough to have roughly 20 members from the National Guard based out of Pittsburg.
"We are just here helping out the community, helping reorganize and cleanup the museum," said Staff Sgt. Timothy Geier.
National Guard members also helped with some construction.
Minton's vision is for the museum to be more "hands on."
"The vision when you first walk in is to see a timeline of Crawford County," she said. "That's what (the museum) will portray when you walk in. This is how the county began, this is how it evolved over the years and this is where we are at today."
Minton said there will be another workday on Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call Minton at 620-249-8680.
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.