In The News

Historical Society Holds Open House

This article originally appeared in the Mt. Vernon Register-News

By Rosie Githinji

MT. VERNON — — The Jefferson County Historical Society held an open house for the Journey Stories exhibit Saturday.

The Journey Stories exhibit, which will run through August, is a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street program and the Illinois Humanities Council. Each of the stories showcases the immigration and migration in the United States in the past 400 years.

Sharon Francois, president of the Jefferson County Historical Society said the organization wanted to share the history of Mt. Vernon and the United States as well as preserve history with Journey Stories.

“The idea was that we wanted to invite people and have the community come and see what we have here,” Francois said of the open house. “We want people to know what we are and try to reflect what’s going on in the community.”

The Smithsonian exhibit was supplemented by local exhibits, which tie in to the theme of going on a journey. There were displays and interviews from the local community about railroads and service stations in the area.

Francois said reactions to the exhibit from the community shows it has been well received.

“They think it’s excellent,” she said. “We have heard nothing but positive responses.”

Mary Holemon and her husband Richard said they enjoyed the exhibit and came to the open house to learn more about peoples journey stories.

“We were very interested in the history and the stories of people,” Holemon said.

She added that the exhibits helped shed some light on the histories of her own relatives as well.

Tourism Director Bonnie Jerdon said the open house was the first time she has seen the finished product.

“I love it,” she said. “They [Historical Society] did a nice job with the displays”

Jerdon said she had seen the past exhibits from the Smithsonian Institute.

“This may be the most interesting one that I have seen,” she said. “This turned out very nice. I hope lots of our local people come out to see it.”

During the exhibit the Historical Village will have extended hours and will be open every day of the week until the exhibit moves on, from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information on the Journey Stories exhibit, call the Jefferson County Historical Village at 246-0033.