210 S. McDonald Street
McKinney, Texas 75069
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Donald R. Hoke, Ph.D., Executive Director, Collin County Historical Society
September 14, 2005
Collin County Historical Society to manage county Farm Museum
(McKinney, TX) – The Collin County Historical Society, Inc., the largest organization dedicated to preserving history in the fastest-growing county in Texas, has been chosen to manage the Collin County Farm Museum, northwest of McKinney.
Collin County will retain ownership of the museum collection, buildings and grounds. The county will also maintain a budget of approximately $15,000 for building and grounds upkeep and utilities. The Historical Society will manage the museum and an office will be established in the Wells Building.
“I felt it was important for the museum to have a curator,” says Collin County Commissioner Joe Jaynes. “Through a grant, the Collin County Historical Society will provide this expertise.”
The County will retain ownership of the collections and the buildings, including the Wells Building and the Haggard Farm House. Museum staff will maintain an office in the Wells Building while Youth Park staff will remain in the Haggard Farm House.
Dr. Hoke responded immediately by inviting members of the Farm Museum board to join the Historical Society board. He already has appointments set with many Farm Museum board members.
“It is important to communicate our enthusiasm about the Farm Museum to the existing board members and to invite them to join the Historical Society Board,” said CCHS Board Chairman Jane Willard.
The Historical Society is moving quickly to revive the Farm Museum, according to Dr. Hoke. CCHS will assign its new Curator of Collections and Exhibitions to the Farm Museum two days per week. This person will join the CCHS staff in late 2005.
In October, CCHS will apply for a Conservation Assessment Program grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services to survey the collections and facilities. This survey will form the basis of the fund raising efforts for collections care and exhibitions. Simultaneously, CCHS will apply for infrastructure funding. “We need the basics,” said Dr. Hoke, “including desks and chairs, computers, software, filing cabinets, etc.”
Hoke added, “Our first priority is to create an inventory of the collections and to work with Linda Dixon, the Youth Park manager, to get the various files and documents organized. Once we have an inventory in hand, the Collections Curator will begin working with Curator of Education Steffanie Evans to develop exhibits that support our school programs.”
Evans said CCHS will assign its new assistant curator of education to begin programming at the Farm Museum. “Our goal is to offer preliminary programming in the spring of 2006 for elementary school children,” Evans said. “We’ll revise that program over the summer and plan to offer a full program in the fall of 2006.”
“We’re excited about partnering with the Historical Society to revive the Farm Museum,” said Youth Park Manager Linda Dixon. “Don Hoke and I have met on a number of occasions and we share a common vision for the Farm Museum.”
“While the building and the donations will remain with the county, the Historical Society will be playing an active role in the marketing and day to day activities of the museum,” says Commissioner Jaynes.
“Our administrative focus will be on fund raising and development,” said Dr. Hoke. “We want to build a database of people interested in agricultural history and the Farm Museum.” CCHS will be setting up an endowment fund with the Communities Foundation of Texas that will be restricted for the Farm Museum. “We hope to have this fund in place by the end of the year,” said Dr. Hoke.
The Collin County Historical Society exists to further an understanding and appreciation of Texas history and heritage by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting cultural resources for the education and enrichment of present and future generations. The Society operates the Collin County History Museum in the historic (1911) former U.S. Post Office two blocks east of Courthouse Square in McKinney.
To schedule a Farm Museum school tour in the spring, call or email Steffanie Evans at 972- 542-4594, email@example.com. Volunteers interested in helping at the Farm Museum should email Dr. Hoke at firstname.lastname@example.org.