Sadly we closed our doors for the season on Sept 30th It’s a mixed blessing. We are truly sad to see it all end- no more concerts, guest lecturers, and entertaining visitors touring through our building with their interesting stories. And at the same time there is relief that the pressure is off- it takes a small army of volunteers to keep our place going.
But the work does not end at the Red Barn Preserve. In fact the Fall is the best time of the year to get things done. The list of getting things done includes: construction of a new viewing platform on the yellow trail, rebuilding of the south end of the Red Barn including a section of roof that was badly sagging, grinding down three large tree stumps that remained when we cut down the locust trees last fall, and hosting a volunteer day on Sept 28th to clear the trails of overgrown weeds and cattails.
Despite less than perfect weather conditions (it rained)- the Volunteer Day was attended by a record number of people. 26 dedicated guests showed up to cut back the vegetation along the trails as well as to start preparing the new Blue trail that is expected to be opened next summer. One volunteer managed to post “No Hunting” signs along the boundary of the property and another hung “yellow” trail markers on trees to show hikers where this trail is located.
The farm house renovation continues. A new roof was installed, drywall hung, new doors and a new furnace secured in place and rough plumbing added to the kitchen and bathroom areas. It’s a race against time to get as much work as we can get done before the cold weather arrives. The museum’s budget does not support heating this building through the winter this year. If all works out- we will lock down the farm house on December 31st and have our contractors return next May to install new hardwood floors and kitchen cabinets. There has been so much progress done that visitors are amazed to see changes.
Behind the scenes a couple of museum trustees are busy managing the paperwork. Our 5 year charter came up for renewal. After filing the necessary forms- NY State has advised that the matter has been completed and our new Charter is on the way. Other ambitious Trustees have set out to update our bylaws. It is fascinating how many changes have occurred over the years. The biggest change has been the acquisition of the Bogardus Farm property and the museum’s desire to establish hiking trails. We hope to complete the bylaw changes and vote on them at a board meeting in the near future.
In the next week or so- the Gateway Museum will be rolling out Red Barn Preserve 2019 Apparel as part of our year end fund raising drive. These screen print T-shirts will make wonderful Christmas gifts. You can order the shirts at mgmredbarnapparel.itemorder.com. The Morristown Gateway Museum appreciates and needs your support. These funds will go toward maintaining both the main street location and the Red Barn Preserve. All orders must be in by December 1, 2019- to guarantee that you will receive the shirts in time for Christmas.
I like to end each of my postings with a note about our volunteers. We have so many people that freely give their time to help us. Some volunteer to help with the annual June Garage sale, some like to help with our annual spaghetti dinner, some decorate the museum windows, many help out at the Red Barn Preserve with trail or farm house activities. If you would like to join us –please leave a message on the museum’s phone 315-375-4910 or call one of the Trustees.
Thanks again to all of you that support our mission to attract tourists to Morristown and to make Morristown a better place.
Dean Shelato- Trustee
October 16, 2019