- Associated Press - Monday, August 11, 2014

PICAYUNE, Miss. (AP) - Members of the Pearl River County Historical Society are working on establishing a county museum at Picayune’s City Hall.

Society vice president Jerry Stough tells The Picayune Item (http://bit.ly/1sF3iaA ) they are looking for any historical artifact representing life in the county from the early 1700’s to the present.

He said the organization will also accept any artifacts left behind by previous Native American tribes.

Stough said local residents have donated some old logging artifacts such as handsaws. They also have a cowhide chair that used to belong to society president Juanita Gex, an old flat iron and a kerosene lamp.

Stough said an old scale used to weigh nails at the now shuttered Thigpen Hardware was donated to the museum by heirs of the store’s owner after it closed.

In order to display the items, Stough said he intends to build some cases similar to those used at the Pearl River Community College Museum.

Stough said other items the museum is looking to procure include old clothing and uniforms.

Gex said one donor gave them a historic wedding dress they intend to display in the museum.

The museum will be located on the third floor of Picayune’s City Hall. Gex said the city is also donating the cost of utilities for three to five years.

“We are grateful to the city for doing this,” Gex said. “We would not be doing this had it not been for the generosity of the city’s administration.”

Stough said the society hopes to raise about $5,000 to protect the artifacts by controlling the humidity, temperature and the amount of ultraviolet light that comes into the museum.

As the museum becomes established the historical society hopes to be able host educational programs for schools and find volunteers to help man the museum.

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Information from: Picayune Item, http://www.picayuneitem.com