Douglas County Museum Celebrates Local History of Radio, Hospitals


TUSCOLA — Douglas County has launched some underappreciated talents in politics, entertainment, and medicine. “Uncle Joe” Cannon was the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives; Elmer Allen, Sr. helped set up Jarman Hospital and was an early pioneer in sterilization techniques designed to reduce infection; “Smiley” Burnette brought joy and comedy to the big and small screens in the 1950s and 1960s.

Artifacts related to these important individuals- and those of less notoriety who also helped shaped the history of the county’s towns- are the focus of the mission of the Douglas County Museum. The museum stewards more than 20,000 objects: from old photographs to newspapers to surgeon’s tools (click video to learn more). Among some of the prized objects: locally-made quilts, the uniforms of local armed servicemen, a linotype machine from the county newspaper, and a huge submersible sphere used to detect submarines and win World War II.

Museum President Kathy Landeck came by ciLiivng to discuss the history of some of the objects in the museum. She notes that the museum has done a great deal of outreach in the last three years in the hopes of helping people appreciate their shared heritage.

“We have something everyone can relate to,” notes Landeck. “Each and every object or photograph has meaning to the people and families of the county- past and present. It’s a special place and more and more people have come in.”

The museum is asking for public support in a referendum next Tuesday. Voters will decide whether to create a county-level tax to support museum operations. The museum estimates the total liability to be roughly $10/year; a volunteer county museum district board will supervise dispersal of public funds. To learn more about the referendum, link here:

To see the full calendar of events happening at the museum, visit their web site:

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