Museum plans new displays

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2000

Now that the Lawrence County Historical Society has finished every room of the historic Campbell house, the group is ready for expansion.

Saturday, April 08, 2000

Now that the Lawrence County Historical Society has finished every room of the historic Campbell house, the group is ready for expansion. At the top of the priority project list is a new acquisition – a home and adjacent lot on South Second Street, donated to the society by one of the area’s oldest families.

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Formerly the home of Bernard and Della Massie, the house, adjacent lot and carriage house were donated by the late couple’s five grandsons, Michael, Mark, Matthew, Mitchell and Kevin Massie.

"The house was constructed in 1888 for Clara Schreiber by her father, Martin Schreiber, who was, at that time, a very well-known building contractor in Ironton," said Sue Massie on behalf of her sons. "In 1924, the Massies came to Ironton and rented part of the home from Miss Schreiber, who became like a part of the family because of the time they naturally spent together at meals and things like that."

Once the Massie family came into possession of the home, Della and Bernard lived there for the remainder of their lives and bequeathed the home to their grandsons, she said.

"They were thinking of what to do with the home and when the suggestion of donating it to the Historical Society came up, they were thrilled with the idea that the home that held so many happy memories for them would be preserved for everyone to enjoy," Mrs. Massie said. "We are very fortunate in Ironton to have the Historical Society members and officers. They are knowledgeable and diligent in their efforts. I only hope the public will support them as they have in the past, both financially and through volunteer and other support efforts."

Initially, restoration efforts will focus on the carriage house, which the society hopes to use for a storage area.

Once the paperwork is completed and the key to the home is given to the Historical Society, plans will continue from there, said past president Marvin Black.

"We are thinking, at this time, of all the possibilities this generous donation will open up to us," he said. "We are thinking of having different exhibits and activities there, perhaps alternating the location of the Victorian teas between the two homes as well as having some special events there, too."

Upon completing the renovations to the new acquisition, the society will have renovated two historic homes in the City of Ironton.

In 1988, the Historical Society took an option on the current museum building, which is listed on the National Historic Register of Homes as the Col. George N. Gray House. More than 600 families, 100 businesses, industries and public entities joined to support the society’s efforts as they slowly refurbished, repaired and furnished the home with items of local and national historical significance.

With this new acquisition, members and donors alike hope that the public and business sectors will once again join together in preserving the county’s history.

"This will be another large project, and we hope the public will help support us in this venture," Black said.