Ellis County Museum
2011 - 2012 Highlights
Museum visitors for the 2011 - 2012 fiscal year total 6,000 plus.
Gift Shop – New gift shop items added to the inventory include Margaret Eshelman Thompson prints of the
courthouse and local houses, Chris Meister’s "James Riely Gordon, His Courthouses and Other Public Architecture,” Ellis County Museum candles by the Lakewood Candle Company and “Midlothian Then and Now” by
Karen Kay Esberger.
The “Waxahachie Architecture Guidebook” project continues with extensive research and photography completed by Ellen Beasley and Margaret Culbertson; technical and computer support by Shannon Simpson; financial support from Burke Evans.
A new set of window display panels featuring sample entries of the “Waxahachie Architecture Guidebook” from research and
text by Ellen Beasley and Margaret Culbertson. The panels change periodically and inform the public about the guidebook and the type of information it will contain.
Maintenance – *Roof bids were received from ATC Roofing ($54,000), MBM Roofing ($36,000), and J. Reynolds Roofing ($47,000). The contract was awarded to MBM Roofing and a new TPO roof was in place by October. Having passed inspection by the TPO manufacturer, the roof carries a 15 year warranty including labor and materials. *The lower front facade received a much needed facelift in the form of fresh paint. The museum contracted with Penfold Construction Company and work was completed mid May for a cost of $2,900. Materials for the project were contributed by the Ennis and Waxahachie Sherwin - Williams stores with monetary assistance from corporate Sherwin -Williams and the Ellis County Historical Commission. *Limited electricity has been added to the second floor of the museum in a manner that can be expanded on in the future. Estes Electric provided the work for this joint project of the ECM, Historic Waxahachie, and Chautauqua Preservation Society.
400 – 500 school children toured the museum.
Interesting new artifacts added the museum's collection include a 1948 Viewmaster, a 1930s toy wagon, WWII OPA’s (change for ration stamps), platform/bow rocking horse, red pedal car, “Ike” jacket belonging to Warwick Jenkins, and Interurban car model.
Bessie Coleman window display organized in conjunction with black history month. Bessie was not only the first female African American licensed pilot in the United States, but also the first female licensed pilot in the United States, receiving this distinction two years before Amelia Earhart. Bessie was not born in Waxahachie but arrived early in her life and was educated at Oak Lawn School on Wyatt Street.
Assisted Ellen Beasley in preparation of a presentation to the Rotary Club, the subject of which was the Museum / Masonic
The Brown Bag lunch series continued with speakers Dr. Tommy Stringer (The Pearce Museum at Navarro College), Ellen Beasley (Discovering Historic East Waxahachie), Glinda Felty and Chris Bhore (The Hawkins Street Family of Waxahachie), Karen Kay Esberger (Some History of Midlothian – Founding Through the Early 1900s), and Keith Roberts (The Inner Workings of the Ellis County Courthouse).
Marie Jones and ECM hosted a lunch for the museum volunteers.
Other window displays included promotion of the 2012 Gingerbread Trail (Shannon Simpson) and a display of art by local artists
(Beth Young, Glinda and Larry Felty).
ECM received a generous grant from the Ellis County Honor Flight Group to assist with the purchase of archival storage materials and to add additional audio visual capabilities to our "Home Front" exhibit. These will be early projects in the 2012 - 2013 fiscal year.
HEB, Ellis County Abstract & Title Company, Representative Jim Pitts, the Waxahachie Foundation, Citizens National Bank and Blue Bell Ice Cream all contributed to assist with Gingerbread Trail underwriting / donations. In addition, Denice Lipscomb donated a gorgeous quilt to raffle as part of the Trail fundraiser.
Gingerbread Trail Preview Home Tour returned to replace the “Gala” event.
City of Waxahachie Downtown Window Project - assisted the City of Waxahachie and Anita Williamson by providing historical
photos of various vacant downtown structures in an effort to attract attention to the history and significance of these buildings as an attempt to revitalize the downtown square.
Carolyn Gritzmaker and Marty Benson inventoried and assessed woven coverlets in the museum’s collection as part of an ongoing
project documenting woven materials existing in this part of Texas. They were impressed with the collection.
Chris Meister talk and book signing sponsored by Historic Waxahachie and the Ellis County Museum. Mr. Meister discussed the
life of architect James Riely Gordon in the old District Courtroom of the Ellis County Courthouse. A reception and book signing followed at the Ellis County Museum.
An original color set of 1938 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps were photographed and digitized to help minimize wear and tear. John
Hancock assisted with this project.
Assisted Billy Ray Hancock with multiple research projects on historic downtown Waxahachie.
Civil War display installed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of this conflict. Generous artifact loans by
David Hudgins, John Hamilton and Sylvia Smith augment the sparse Civil War items in the museum's permanent collection.
Christmas Tree display set up for Victorian Christmas on the Square. Display featured a number of different tree styles in the
central window and a special display of antique toys in the side window -- compliments of Beth Young and Glinda Felty.
44th Annual Gingerbread Trail Event. The Trail is ECM’s annual fundraising event to provide operating income. It consists of an historic home tour, arts & crafts festival and car show. Other local groups augment the event with various activities.