The 2020 Westwood Museum board of directors Mary Hasselwander, left, Si Bollinger, Jack Forester, Sandy Rayburn, Janice McGinnis, Carol Mason, Debbie Christie and Sheri Binswanger pose. Photo by Susan Cort Johnson

Three Westwood Museum board members re-elected

Elections for three members of the board of directors for the Westwood Museum were held at a meeting Saturday, March 14. Jack Forester was reelected as president, Sheri Binswanger as corresponding secretary, and Janice McGinnis, member-at-large. The term of office for a board member is two years. The last board meeting was in October 2019, shortly after the museum closed for the winter.

The museum begins the 2020 season in good financial standing. Treasurer Debbie Christie reported that as of January 1st the museum had $23,711.82 total in the checking and savings account.

Depending on directives from the State of California on large gatherings in May, the Westwood Museum will hold its first major fundraiser Friday, May 8, which is a dinner hosted by Calvary Chapel Westwood. The Westwood board said they should know by mid-April if they will need to postpone the dinner.

In the meantime, museum docents and members of the board will prepare to open the museum Mother’s Day weekend. Carol Mason, docent director, said she will schedule a workday to prepare the museum. Currently the exhibits are covered in sheets. Also, the docents will do a complete inventory before opening.

Once the docents have the museum ready to open, the tile floor will be cleaned professionally. One company bid on the job for $250.

A stock of souvenir merchandise has been purchased for the summer season when tourists stop at the museum. The museum sells a variety of items with the museum logo or a connection to Westwood history which includes puzzles, pins, hats, blankets and books.

Christie said she had completed the tax forms for 2019 but suggested they be reviewed by an accountant. Also, she suggested hiring an accountant to do an independent audit of the books. The board will vote on these suggestions in April. If changes need to be made regarding the tax forms, an amendment will be filed.

Several projects begun in 2019 are coming to completion. Binswanger reported the website is online, although not all the menus have been completed. The website can be accessed at westwoodmuseum.com.

Also, the digitizing of the newspapers by American Digital Memories has been completed. Binswanger reported the information is on an electronic compact hard drive that is searchable. When a name is entered, it is highlighted in every newspaper issue where there is information on the topic. McGinnis said this process was a good use of funds because the board of directors is supposed to be saving history. The information will be on the museum computer and is user friendly. Binswanger suggested that Westwood Museum should get a safety deposit box for such items.

Christie reported she had been snapping photos of the displays and putting them on a thumb drive. She suggested this information be placed in the safety deposit box, which would be a record of the exhibits.

In 2019 several projects were tackled at the Westwood Museum. They were the development of a website contracting with Susanville Stuff; creating photo displays of each decade since the founding of Westwood for a vertical display; the preservation of Mrs. Bailey’s scrapbooks; and the digital conversion of old newspapers.

The museum also received the donation of many artifacts. They were a fire siren from a pole on Seventh Street that sounded when there was a fire in town; the mill whistle; vintage dresses and beaded bags worn by an early resident; a Calamity Jane outfit worn by Georgia Bollinger in a Frontier Days parade; as well as pictures and memorabilia.

The board of directors for the Westwood Museum for 2020 are Jack Forester, president; Mary Hasselwander, vice president; Sandy Rayburn, recording secretary; Sheri Binswanger, corresponding secretary; Debbie Christie, treasurer; Carol Mason, docent coordinator; Si Bollinger, member-at-large; and Janice McGinnis, member-at-large.