Preserving History: Museum Projects Improve Working-class Princeton District | Opinion
When it comes to preserving history, museums play an important role. In addition to protecting objects of cultural or historical interest for future generations, a visit to a museum can also enrich young minds and elevate the understanding of elders as they take in the offerings of the past.
That’s why we were delighted to hear that plans for a new museum in Princeton are underway for the city’s historic popular district.
Lori McKinney, executive director of the RiffRaff Arts Collective, said a nonprofit has secured and intends to develop three properties in this area to establish the Lonnie Gunter Jr. Center for Culture & History.
The late Gunter has assembled a treasure trove of culturally significant artifacts, which help preserve the industrial and cultural history of the state and nation’s industrial heritage, according to McKinney.
Gunter’s dream was to preserve the past to share with future generations, according to his daughter Marcie Gabor, curator of the collection.
“My father’s collection includes an incredible array of artifacts, including steam engines, antique vehicles, agricultural machinery and equipment, antique toys and memorabilia,” she said recently. “Dad collected these items throughout his life in southern West Virginia. His dream was to preserve the past to share it with future generations.
The family hope the new museum will be a destination for families, students, educators, tourists and children of all ages.
It will be developed on a site adjacent to the existing Princeton Railroad Museum. The project will be carried out in phases.
McKinney believes that the new Lonnie Gunter Jr. Center for Culture & History, combined with the Railroad Museum and the Agricultural Museum and the recently announced Mythical Collectors Unauthorized Vehicle Museum, will help make the working-class area of the city both a destination for tourists. tourists and a place where history is preserved and celebrated.
We, too, are excited about this latest addition to the city’s growing museum district.
It will help attract additional visitors to the area, while providing a new venue for tourists and local residents.