The Germantown Museum
A project in the making
Germantown Citizens Form a Museum Board
Germantown, Tn – A group of Germantown citizens has come together to create a museum centered around the heritage and history of the community of Germantown. Carolyn Gates, president of the Museum Board of Directors said, "Our area is so rich in history and we are dedicated to preserving that history for future generations." Louise Bagby, who is serving as the chairperson of the City of Germantown Historic Commission is also on the Board of Directors for the new museum. Mrs. Bagby and her commission have been working on a number of projects to capture the area history and said, "Now we hope to have a place to show the work that has been going on for many years".
The group came together in July of 2008 and have already drawn up Articles of Association and By Laws. The application for a 501 (c) 3 status as a charitable organization has been approved.
The goals of the museum board are to establish a focal point that could be used to support education, pride of community and preservation of the rich history of Germantown.
Mrs. Jacque Clift, president of the Suburban Garden Club of Germantown, said, “Our club is behind this effort 100%. We have offered a $1,000 grant to the project to get things started." Mrs. Clift is also a Museum Board member and was recently elected Vice President. She is handling much of the organizational paperwork.
Mr. Andy Pouncey, Assistant City Administrator for the Germantown City Government and a member of the new museum board, commented on the many places one could start to tell the story. He recalled the native American settlements around what was then called the Nashoba River. The word Nashoba is the Chickasaw word for Wolf. The Wolf River marks the northern boundary of present day City of Germantown. Mr. Pouncey also mentioned Francis Wright and her social experiment which was one of the first of its kind in the nation. He listed the influence of the railroad, the Civil War, the area churches and of course the strong history of the show horse community in Germantown.
In the coming months, the Museum Board will continue the planning process with the help of a professional museum consultant, Mr. Jim Schippers of Kingston Springs, Tn. Mr. Schippers has been instrumental in assisting other small communities through out Tennessee establish museums. Recently, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander visited the Parsons, Tn. museum and declared Mr. Schippers had "produced perhaps the finest small museum in Tennessee." Mr. Schippers provided consulting and training for that site and continues to support its operation.
Mrs. Gates said, "We have a long way to go and need the help and support of the entire community, but in the end we expect to have a world class facility that reflects the spirit and pride of Germantown."