A5 Museum Carly in new space.jpg

Carly Annable, Independence Heritage Museum manager, stands in the museum’s new location, 281 S. Second St.


INDEPENDENCE — The doors of the Independence Heritage Museum are closed for now, but work on cataloguing its collection and planning for relocation continue.

In its current location at 112 S. Third St., Carly Annable, museum manager, and Amy Christensen, curator, are busy cataloguing the archives.

“We’re finding things we didn’t realize we had,” Annable said.

This organizing will help when the museum moves to its new space at 281 S. Second St.

Plans for the Second Street location are still in the works.

Annable gave an update to the Independence City Council at their May 12 meeting.

She presented two layouts that museum advisory liked.

“(We’re) excited about the opportunity to have a board room and a gift shop that feeds into a lobby,” Annable said.

The single-story building is 6,575 square feet.

Councilor Shanon Corr asked about the potential uses for the board room.

It will be used for advisory board meetings and volunteer training, as well as space for volunteers to work aside from the exhibits.

In addition to a gift shop and board room, it will have room to process and store the museum’s collection in an area with a large roll-up door. That will make it easier to intake larger items without having to dissemble them.

Annable plans to divide the exhibition space with moveable dividers.

The new building will allow the museum to be more deliberate about the way they use their space, she said.

There are seven areas they’re hoping to include: Kalapuya; Willamette River, natural-history focused, biology, ecology, geography, cultural impacts, folklore; Oregon Trail – on to Oregon Cavalcade, blacksmith exhibit, homestead history; Main Street – downtown buildings and business history; industry/ferries/logging/railroad; hops and agriculture – including highlighting the Bracero project; and military – featuring Camp Adair history.

“All of these are longer-term areas we’ll include, but may not be complete by the time we open,” Annable said. “We have ideas for how we can continue to update exhibits and rotate different highlights over time.” For example, highlighting the development of the downtown business district, while highlighting one building’s history in detail as part of the exhibit, she said.

City Manger Tom Pessemier told councilors the city wants to get this project moving forward.

“There’s a fairly long time that the architect has planned to put the architectural drawings together, as well as to get the permits in place and ultimately hire contractors out to do this,” Pessemier said.

He asked councilors to provide any feedback by the end of the week.

“We’d like to let the architect start running on putting together the actual construction documents, pricing things out and moving forward in this process so we can continue to move this project forward quickly,” he said.

The architect’s schedule has the Second Street location opening in March next year, Pessemier said.

Pessemier thinks the timing will be closer to the end of this year.

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