Museum Wraps Up Busy Season

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Benton County Museum board members and volunteers ended another great season on October 28th by drawing winning tickets for its quilt and shotgun raffles. Kerri Hilton of Kansas City won the Route 66 quilt, and Cynthia Davis of Warsaw won the 28 gauge over/under shotgun. This season’s biggest draw in the museum consisted of individual exhibits sponsored by local residents and displayed in the large, open area near the entrance to the building. A large historical exhibit of Lincoln, Missouri will be the highlight of the 2019 season in honor of Lincoln’s 150th anniversary.
The museum holds two raffles each year that usually raise $1,000 for a quilt and $2,000 for a gun. Valarie Fauquier is given the materials she needs to make a quilt after the museum board selects a design. She then spends her winter making the new quilt to be raffled during the following season 
“We have the quilt raffle to attract the ladies, and the gun raffle to attract the guys,” said Jim Weaver, President of the Benton County Historical Society. 
Weaver said that individual exhibits displayed this year in the museum included belt buckles provided by Dr. Don Anstaett, as well as old oil cans and small tractors. The Transportation Room in the basement has been a favorite exhibit for years, with railroads and steamboats. However, the board is considering replacing it with another exhibit.
“I’m not sure what we will have in place of the Transportation Room, but it will probably be decided during a December or January board meeting,” said Weaver.
Weaver said there are currently nine board members and from 10 to 15 docent volunteers who manage the front desk of the museum. There are also volunteers who sell raffle tickets in front of Walmart as much as the store will allow.  He said they are always looking for more volunteers. Docents work a three-hour shift on Fridays or Saturdays, and Weaver said that he is happy if they can work once a month. 
Membership in the Benton County Historical Society is $10 a year. Admission to the museum is free for members, $3 for adults under 55, $2 for children under 12 and senior citizens over 55. 
The museum is located at 1660 Hilltop Drive, and its telephone number is 660-438-2304. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM on Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 4 PM on Sunday.