WELCOME to Powers Museum in Carthage, Missouri
June 2013 will mark the 25th Anniversary of the museum opening to the public. Please watch for news of year-long schedule of exciting events.
Since 1988, the Powers Museum has been serving Carthage and the region as a local history museum with rotating annual exhibits from the post-Civil War period to the 20th century. Traveling exhibits and special programs related to Missouri or Ozark regional themes are presented, too.
In 2013 - 2014, we will highlight the Powers Family and special items in our collection from the Winchester Estate/Founding Collection as well as selected donations to the museum's collections during 25 years of operation. In conjunction with the upcoming 25th Anniversary of the museum, we have started a digitization project to place 2,000 artifact and archival pieces online before late June 2013. This has been made possible by grants by the Carthage Community Foundation and the State Historical Society of Missouri. The project is led by the museum director and staffed by volunteers. If you are interested in participating, please contact the museum. (Some work can be done off-site, so those who live away from Carthage may be able to help, too.)
The Powers Museum is a gift from Marian Powers Winchester to the City of Carthage. At her death in 1981, Mrs. Winchester left a bequest "for the establishment and operation of a museum for the citizens of Carthage and the surrounding area." She requested the museum's name honor her parents Dr. Everett Powers (1869–1954) and Marian Wright Powers (1880–1969).
Since 1988, the museum has presented hundreds of public exhibits and programs. Staff is available to talk to school and adult groups about these activities and "behind-the-scenes" work with the collections at the museum. Click here to see our Speakers Bureau offerings.
Other Museum Services
The museum's small Local History Reference Library is available for self-directed research the same hours as the museum's public schedule. (Appointment necessary for off-season access mid-December to mid-March.) Use of additional research resources housed elsewhere (such as archival collections, photographs and vertical file materials) requires an advance appointment at any time of the year.
Tip: Those engaged in genealogical work should consult the resources at the Carthage Public Library or the Jasper County Records Center first. The museum does not have birth/death/marriage records or census records or local newspapers.
The museum also conducts oral history interviews, particularly with military veterans and homefront workers for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/vets. For more information on this project, click here. We thank Carthage High School teacher Jeanie Sneddon and her students for assistance to this project over the past several years.
Digital exhibits include Riches from the Earth: the Geological and Industrial Heritage of Jasper County, 1865 -1965 that is part of the Missouri Digital Heritage project sponsored by the Missouri State Archives and the Missouri Secretrary of State. Other small digital exhibits can be found here. Coming late June 2013, the museum will begin placing portions of its collections online and continue adding to the presentation over the next two years.
At the museum is a Museum Gift Shop featuring Carthage souvenirs and books, family tree charts, Route 66 and Jefferson Highway items and seasonal holiday items. The museum also sells a limited line of books and products downtown on the historic square at Oldies & Oddities (open Sun. - Sat. 10 am to 5 pm, closed major holidays) located at 331 S. Main Street. Mail order is available by consulting this link.
Four-state tourism brochures, Missouri state tourism guides and Route 66 driving instructions for Carthage, Jasper County and the tri-state region are available at our mini-info center, too.
Museum Support & Administration
The museum is administered by a board of seven volunteers appointed by the Mayor of Carthage. The board meets monthly at the museum, usually on the third Monday evening of the month. Public notices are posted at Carthage City Hall. Visitors are welcome to attend. The Powers Museum receives no tax support and is operated through donations, museum shop revenue, fundraising projects, grants along with the original Winchester endowment. If you would like to donate to the museum, please send checks or money orders to Powers Museum, P.O. Box 593, Carthage, MO 64836.
Now looking for 25th Anniversary exhibit underwriters for 2013-14! Contact Director Michele Hansford for further information. Underwritting levels begin at $500.
The Powers Museum's endowment/investment account is managed by United Missouri Bank.
2013 Financial & Equipment Support has come from the Bowman Family of Joplin, Southwest Missouri Bank of Carthage (Southtown branch), and William Boggess of Florida.
HVAC Replacement support in 2012 has come from Friends of Powers Museum donors Tom Hilton, Bruce Vaughan, Barbara Harris Johnson, Judy St. John Detherage, Chuck & Ann Taylor, Dr. Steven Wagner, Dr. Angela Firkus, Mr. & Mrs. Dale Looney, Mr. & Mrs. James Newton, Glenita Browning, Ivan Hager, Dorothy Fulks, Henry Robertson, Jr., various annonymous donors and all those who have purchased 2012 Carthage Route 66 Calendars and participated in the June 2011 Anniversary Silent Auction and May 2012 Rummage Sale events.
Major support for the HVAC project has also come from the Kent Steadley & Mary Steadley Memorial Trust for which the Powers Museum Board is most grateful.
Support for the museum's Online Collection/Digitization Project FY 2012-2013 has come from the Carthage Community Foundation who presented a grant to the museum for the purpose of purchasing software to facilitate the project. Our goal is to have 2,000 artifact and archival records and images online by June 2013! A sub-set of this project is a digital presentation of Civil War artifacts, archival items and reference books made possible by a Brownlee Research Grant from the State Historical Society of Missouri.
Thank you to all these organizations!
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