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Old Independence Regional Museum hosts "A Night at the Museum" | Arts & Culture

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Old Independence Regional Museum hosts "A Night at the Museum"
Old Independence Regional Museum hosts "A Night at the Museum"

BATESVILLE, Ark. - Inspired by the Night at the Museum films, Old Independence Regional Museum will host A Night at the Museum on Friday, October 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m.  

This family-friendly event will feature a fun evening of character interactions, crafts and refreshments.   Admission for the evening is $5 per person.  Bring your camera because photos are encouraged, no flash please.  Visitors are invited to come as they are or dress in their favorite costume.

In the museum’s Civil War exhibit, visitors will meet Emily Weaver, Nannie Wilson and Emma Burr, three teenaged girls living in Batesville during the Civil War.  These ladies didn’t let the war get them down.  They enjoyed the new social opportunities that the war brought to Batesville by hosting balls and parties for the soldiers.   Join the ladies, as they discuss the latest happenings.

Captain Thomas Todd Tunstall will be entertaining visitors who wander by the River Exhibit with stories of his life as a riverboat captain, racetrack owner, businessman and veteran of the War of 1812.  Don’t forget to ask him about his wife.  After her death she was preserved in a glass “coffin” filled with alcohol and stood in the cemetery overlooking the racetrack.   Make sure to take the time to speak to the ferry boat captain to check out the river conditions.

At the pioneer wagon, visitors will encounter a family who is traveling west.  Interact with them at their campsite, where they have stopped for the night.  Where will they sleep?  Do they need to worry about attacks?  What’s on the menu for tonight?  These are all good questions to ask them during your visit.

On the Back Porch, a couple is discussing their daily struggles during the Great Depression.  The lady is churning some cream into butter to be sold to her neighbors.  Visitors are invited to let her rest and take a turn at the churn.  Visit with their children who are hard at work picking cotton nearby, and ask them about school. 

In Shawneetown, visitors will encounter Abraham Ruddle, who lived among the Shawnee as a child.   Talk about what life was like for Native Americans during the early 1800s and learn about how they interacted with settlers. 

Keep your eyes open because the “lost” statue of Blind Justice from the third Batesville courthouse will be making an appearance.  Mind your manners because Marshall Bass Reeves will be wandering through the crowd in search of outlaws to take before the judge.  Other characters that visitors will meet during their visit include:  Aunt Caroline Dye, a timberman, a traveling minister, a roving peddler and many more. 

A herb woman is brewing a special concoction for visitors to try, along with cookies at the refreshment table.  All are invited to stop and visit, and if you are brave enough, sample one of her creations.

In our craft area, children are invited to make crow weavings, pet spiders, and bats.  Do you dare to feel for innards, toes, and brains in the touch and feel boxes?

This humanities program is made possible by local support from Independence County and the City of Batesville, as well as by Challenge Grant Endowment funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities.   Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Additional event sponsors include Integrated Therapy Services.

Old Independence serves a 12-county area:  Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff.  Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820s Arkansas territory.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children.  The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.   During your visit, stop by our gift shop.  We stock many items from local artists, authors, and crafters, as well as historical toys and games.