Heritage museum seeks organizer

FRANCESTOWN — Although the Francestown Fire Department and other organizations opened the doors of the Heritage Museum to the public four times this year already, according to Heritage Museum Commission member Maureen vonRosenvinge of Francestown, the building is still in need of someone to oversee its functions and needs.

vonRosenvinge said she has been approached by many people in the last four days asking who is going to be in charge and who is going to take care of the museum. The museum houses historical fire vehicles and other local antiques, some on loan from community members. vonRosenvinge asked the Select Board at its Aug. 12 meeting to discuss this concern, and the board agreed to address this issue at their next meeting on Aug 19.

According to Francestown Fire Chief Larry Kulgren in an interview Thursday, the Fire Department, the Heritage Museum Commission and the Francestown Historical Improvement Society have all helped organize the museum’s events and developmental steps since the plan to build the museum began four years ago.

But vonRosenvinge said on Aug. 12 that, although these organizations help take care of the building, there still needs to be a contact person established to organize events at the museum, as well as someone to take care of the building’s ongoing up-keep.

Another big concern of vonRosenvinge’s is that an inventory of all the items in the museum still needs to be recorded by someone, especially, as she said, since many items at the museum are there on loan from community members.

Kulgren said on Aug. 12 at the Select Board meeting that the remaining to-do list includes figuring out insurance to cover all the items in the museum, installing the wiring for lighting, building a vestibule and organizing the antiques. The Heritage Museum, built by the Francestown Fire Department, was turned over to the care of the town in a dedication ceremony for the museum on Aug. 4.

Kulgren also mentioned that O. Alan Thulander of Francestown, key visionary and planner for the museum, had imagined a type of stand, with a name plate on it, to identify who owns each piece in the museum and background information about each antique on display. Kulgren said this name plate project has yet to be completed.

Kulgren also said on Thursday in an interview with the Ledger-Transcript that tours of the museum could be conducted on Labor Day this year and four tours have already been conducted. He said there are some additional things to be done before visitors start going through the museum space.

“I hate to say it, but we kind of put things in there and filled the space but there really needs to be someone there to rope things off and organize things a little better,” Kulgren said, referring to the moving in of antiques last August.

“We’ve got this beautiful museum, we should be using it,” vonRosenvinge said at Monday’s meeting. “We don’t have a method to decide who is going to open it, who is going to close it. I just want to make sure we are aware of what we have and where it is.”

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or

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