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Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Merrill History and Culture Center reopens with new addition


Story By Morgan Johnson
Local News Published 06/18/2021 4:13PM, Last Updated 06/18/2021 9:41PM
Merrill - "It can be a 10 minute stop or a two hour stop; however long you want to make it."

Normally Pat Burg is walking around in the Merrill History and Culture Center telling people about the community's rich history.

"This job basically is connecting with people and talking about history and getting an opportunity to share all the fun and exciting things that we have to offer," said Burg.

But for the past year she's been doing anything but that. Very few people have gone through the museum itself.

"Mainly over the past year and a half we've been doing research for people, so very few people have gone through the museum; most people have come to do something: research or genealogy related."

The building was quiet, but Burg didn't stop working. She and other museum volunteers were able to make additions and improvements. Construction of the new storage addition began before COVID-19 hit, and now it's finished in time for the museum's reopening.

"We did take the opportunity to really delve into all of our documents," said Burg. "We started doing some digitizing, we started cleaning up everything and reorganizing paper so things were easier to find. So it was nice not to have people but it also wasn't quite as much fun."

Finally after a lonesome 2020 the museum reopened and Burg had to polish her knowledge a little. "It just doesn't roll off your tongue like it does when you're doing it over and over again on kind of a respiratory basis," said Burg.

Once Burg gets back into her routine, she'll be ready to start teaching and learning again.

"I sometimes learn more from them than they learn from me because they tell you about their experiences and where they grew up and what was on this street and so it's really fun to interact in that way," said Burg.

The Merrill History & Culture Center is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 9am-1pm or by appointment.
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