Brownsville railroad museum considers ways to get more visitors aboard
By Mary Pickels
Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
A quarterly meeting of the Monongahela River, Railroad and Transportation Museum on Wednesday doubled as a networking session at the Brownsville site.
“There is a lot of work yet to be done,” said Ernie Bradmon, president of the 10-year-old museum.
“We can't survive on our own,” said Edward Britt, museum financial officer.
The museum, at 412 Church St., is open on Wednesdays only, or by appointment.
Visitors from as far away as China and as close as Somerset County have stumbled upon or purposely set out to find the museum.
Inside, donated memorabilia documents the National Road, trolley and rail lines, boat-making and the river.
Laying out the museum in an informative and educational manner, making the public aware it exists and cataloguing the many contributions remain elusive goals, Bradmon said.
A $25,000 state Department of Community and Economic Development grant paid for building repairs.
Board members Wednesday said they have applied for a modification to apply the remaining grant money — $9,736 — to exterior improvements and basement lighting.
Former Greene County commissioner Pam Snyder suggested soliciting volunteers.
Snyder, who will succeed Bill DeWeese as the 50th District representative in the state House, said students from nearby California University of Pennsylvania might be one option.
“We have got to publicize the fact that you are here. I would be glad to go to the high school and find out if there is an interest for students to come down here and work with you,” Brownsville Mayor Lester Ward said.
Scott Becker, executive director of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington County, suggested joint marketing efforts with the Brownsville Area Revitalization Corp. and Nemacolin Castle.
In order to attract more families, Becker said, the museum needs to offer interactive exhibits, such as oral history projects and possibly a boat pilot house.
He also recommended members contact the American Alliance of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History as potential resources.
Those attending discussed the use of prison inmates to provide labor.
Inmates from the State Correctional Institution at Greene assisted with recent renovations at the Fayette County Historical Society, housed in the former Abel Colley Tavern in Menallen. Snyder said that option has proven successful with Greene County projects.
Fayette County Commissioner Al Ambrosini said he has encouraged Brodman to apply for grants.
Britt said the museum recently acquired a computer and hopes to have a website and email running soon.
Britt and Bradmon said visitors are fascinated by old employee history books and identification tags.
Those angles could play into what Becker called a “huge interest in genealogy.”
“You have a wonderful museum. You need to organize it,” Becker said.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Evanced Solutions coming to Carnegie Free Library
- Panel to explain DEP rules
- Marchers demand a vote on new jail
- Frazier High performers hear a Who!
- Residents asked for input on cleanup
- Rural King farm supply store confirms move to Laurel Mall
- Connellsville Area School District may refinance bonds in effort to save $200,000
- Southmoreland seniors to don caps and gowns June 4
- Connellsville residents, business owners explore human rights panel
- Geibel to present ‘42nd Street’ at State Theatre in Uniontown
- Geibel musical director enjoys ‘group of very talented dancers’