Ag Museum reopens after fire, volunteers needed in recovery - - Jackson, MS

Ag Museum reopens after fire, volunteers needed in recovery

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Less than 3 weeks after fire destroyed buildings at the Mississippi Ag Museum, the historical facility opened its doors Monday.

The Ag Museum's annual Country Christmas Event has been canceled, but families can still visit other popular attractions like the general store and much more.

Still, help is needed with getting things back to normal, and they've found it through the generosity of a young boy from Raymond.

It's been a tough time for workers and volunteers at the Ag Museum after the November 13 fire that destroyed a barn, the veterinary infirmary and a maintenance shop and all of the equipment and artifacts that were on display.

Lise Foy had marked exactly two years as museum director on the day of the fire. She's grateful for community support.

"We spent the last two weeks doing ash and smoke mitigation inside the main gallery and clearing up all of the debris from the buildings that burned. We are now to the point of just finishing with cataloging all the artifacts that are in our main buildings outside, getting those in temporary storage," said Foy.

And they're getting a lot of help from volunteers like nine year old Ashland Clark and his mother Amie, an historical interpreter at the museum, who was churning butter the day of the fire.

"I'm trying to raise $2,000.00 for my birthday to get new mule harnesses," said Ashland. "I do a lot of work with the mules, and I really want the mules to be able to pull because that's just one of the awesome things about having mules here." 

"We come and really help bring the museum to life during harvest days, spring cleaning days things like that, we're in the house in the farm stead over there," said Amie Clark.

On opening day families returned and were overjoyed to find familiar sites like Small Town Mississippi very much in tact.

Mike Goodwin of Brandon strolled down the gravel road past the old buildings before taking a seat on the porch at the General Store.

"That was pretty horrific," said Goodwin. "I think everybody's thankful that all of the animals got basically out safely." 

But more volunteers are desperately needed to help restore this Mississippi institution.

So far Ashland has raised about $840.00.

His birthday is December 9th and he plans to continue gathering funds through the end of the month for the Ashland Mule Project through the Mississippi Ag Museum Foundation.

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