A Paul Bunyan train set is a new Westwood Museum display. It was part of a collection owned by 1947 Westwood High graduate Stan Roe and donated by his family. Photo by Susan Cort Johnson

Westwood Museum upgrades displays, adds new website

The diligent work of Westwood Museum docents and board members and the donation of artifacts have resulted in many improvements to the museum this summer.

At the Tuesday, Aug. 13 meeting of the board of directors, Carol Mason, docent coordinator, reported the preservation of Mrs. Bailey’s scrapbooks in the school room was nearly complete. Also the timelines for several decades of Westwood history were being completed by docents and will soon be ready for the vertical display case.

The website, approved by the board, is also progressing well and could be up and running by the end of summer. Debbie Christie, board treasurer, reported that a meeting with the company the museum has hired to create the site had resulted in a format and list of information to be included. The site will feature a history of the museum, a photo gallery, a section for new acquisitions, a merchandise page, and operation materials such as meeting agendas and minutes as well as membership and donation forms.

At the August meeting the board voted to begin the process of sending its collection of newspapers, which date back to 1917, to the Oklahoma Correctional Institute to convert them to a digital format. This process will not only preserve the newspapers but make it possible for the information to be accessible through the Web. The estimated cost is 50 cents to $1.00 per page. Several years ago the museum used this agency to create digital versions of the school yearbooks.

Board members agreed that joining the California Association of Museums would be beneficial because the Westwood Museum would be added to the list kept by this organization. People interested in museums often look at this list before visiting an area. The cost is $55 per year.

It was reported that the museum has acquired several new items that are displayed. A Calamity Jane outfit worn by Georgia Bollinger in Westwood’s Frontier Days Parade is now hanging next to a newspaper article commemorating the event. A wooden mannequin will be made at a later date specifically for the outfit. Calamity Jane is an American frontierswoman and professional scout who was part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

There is also a Westwood Fire Horn used to alert residents of town fires, which was donated by John Luystar. A Paul Bunyan and Babe trainset collected by 1947 Westwood High graduate Stan Roe now runs on a track across the Plexiglas atop the pool table.

Fundraising efforts and donations continue to provide the money to operate, maintain and improve the museum. Christie reported that the Westwood Museum has approximately $24,000 in checking and savings accounts.

The next meeting of the board of directors for the Westwood Museum is at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 at the museum located at 311 Ash St.