Show Low Historical Museum Exe Dir

Clair Thomas, Show Low Historical Society Museum executive director, provides a report to the Show Low City Council on Dec. 1. Despite the museum’s short season due to COVID-19, the staff and volunteers logged in 55 new items that will be on display in the 2021 season.

SHOW LOW – The Show Low Historical Society and Museum is generally open March through October but they lost the majority of their season to COVID-19 guidelines and precautions.

Although they opened in March, it was only for a short time before they were required to shutter the doors — again.

The museum reopened at the end of June, only to have to close a final time for the year.

The non-profit 501(3)C museum, averages 4,000 to 5,000 visitors during a “normal” season. Museum staff and volunteers collect, preserve and exhibit historical Native and American objects, photographs, books, archival material and works of art pertinent to the White Mountain region of Arizona from 1540 to present day.

The rich collections provide educational value for our residents and visitors and is described as “a memorable step back in time.”

“With all precautions safely in place, we averaged 40 visitors per day this year,” said Museum Executive Director Clair Thomas during her update to the Show Low City Council, Dec. 1. “Our ending visitor count for the year was 2,602 people. ... when we opened March 3, and were open for eight days, we had huge expectations of high visitor counts like we did last year of over 5,000 people. “In that eight days, we had 293 visitors.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines for businesses, the museum was required to close in mid-March. They were able to reopen in late-May but, sadly, closed again.

“So, we moved forward with no expectations other than if we could be open another day,” said Thomas.

But, all was not lost. During the closure, several of the exhibits were upgraded with 55 new items.

The museum volunteers logged 1,770 hours of time to maintain the existing items as well as receive, log and itemize and prepare new items.

“We have a fabulous staff of volunteers at the museum and those volunteers logged in 1,770 hours,” said Thomas. “We continue to have items donated to the museum by community members and families.”

Thomas also thanked the city of Show Low and Navajo County for renewing their lease for five more years. (The city owns half of the building and the county owns half.)

The museum continues to be in good standing with all of the related agencies.

The museum also received grants through the Cares Act and the National Endowment for the Arizona Humanities. With the grant funds, member support and support from the city of Show Low and Navajo County, the museum has maintained their monthly expenses.

The museum remains in good standing with the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Historical Society and the Navajo County Library and Museum code of ethics.

The museum’s in-house partner, the Silver Creek Railroader Club, has been awarded another grant from the Arizona Historical Society to enhance the railroad exhibit.

The members plan on a major renovation to the existing railroad lines.

“Without the Silver Creek Railroad Members and exhibit, we would not have the amount of visitors that we do,” said Thomas.

“They provide enjoyment for all ages so we thank the Silver Creek Railroaders.”

The museum, at 561 E. Deuce of Clubs, will make a public announcement as soon as they are able to reopen. The hope is for a March 3 opening date.

Until then, consider taking a virtual tour by going to: https://showlowmuseum.wordpress.com/room-1-the-show-low-room/.

Also, the museum invites the public to visit their webpage at www.showlowmuseum.wordpress.com.

Reach the reporter at

lsingleton@wmicentral.com

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