BERLIN – For the first time in a decade, refreshed exhibits will greet visitors to the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum this spring.
While the first floor of the museum looks much as it has in recent years, volunteers revamped much of the second floor exhibit space as repairs to the roof and floor were made this winter.
“It has a fresher look,” said Susan Taylor, the museum’s curator. “It’s not as packed and it’s easier for people to view.”
A water leak forced the museum to install new ceiling and flooring in the large gallery on the second floor. Because volunteers had to move the displays to accommodate the work, when they moved the exhibits back in they opted to rearrange them to allow for better viewing.
In doing so, they also created a few new displays. One features high school graduation memorabilia from Buckingham High School and Berlin Colored High School. Another includes an elaborate beaded ceremonial costume worn by members of the Red Men, a local social organization that met during the first half of the 20th century.
There’s also a new display highlighting the history of the town’s library, which operated at various locations downtown before moving to its new Harrison Avenue building in 2018.
The first floor of the museum continues to provide guests with a glimpse of what an early 19th century home would have looked like.
The Taylor House will be open for International Museum Day Saturday, May 18 and will resume its summer hours after Memorial Day. Through the end of October it will be open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Though the museum hasn’t yet opened to the public, many local merchants got a glimpse of the refreshed displays last week during a Berlin Chamber of Commerce event.
“Everybody was amazed and wants to come back,” Taylor said.
Ivy Wells, Berlin’s economic and community development director, praised Taylor’s efforts at the museum. She said the museum provided residents and visitors with a better understanding of the town’s rich history.
“You can’t be a historic town without showcasing history,” Wells said. “If you want to learn about small town history it’s the perfect place to go.”