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Monticello Memories – Tour of the Museum, Part 4

March 24th, 2013 by

Before we leave this office/front bedroom of the Drew County Museum there are a few more noteworthy items to discuss. One is a photograph of the wood-framed, original First Baptist Church built in 1860 and torn down in 1902. It stood where the newer one stands today. Actually I believe the fourth building is the church we see today. First Baptist Church has a long, illuminating history in Monticello.

A picture of the old First Presbyterian Church also hangs in the office. This church was built in 1906 and torn down in 1956. It was a beautiful architectural masterpiece with its many rounded and spiral features and its unique interior plans. Legend says the sanctuary began to leak and some members of a prominent family would carry their umbrellas to church meetings to emphasize the point. Eventually the congregation moved to the present North Main site. Later OTASCO and, presently, Drew Farm Supply sit on the former site of the church.

A lovely watercolor painted by local artist, Miss Virgie Cavaness, hangs on the north wall. It is a delicate rendition of a Chinese “junk” (boat) resting in a faraway river. Miss Virgie was a sister to Garvin Cavaness, the original owner of the home and a very talented artist.

While you are in the room, you will notice an elegantly hand carved old church pulpit. It is reputed to be over 100 years old. Very little is known about it except that it was brought to the museum years ago. It is a finely-crafted treasure of the museum.

Sitting in front of a northern side porch glass doorway is a beautifully restored, triangular Masonic altar. On the top of it rests a Masonic Bible and a beautiful Masonic balloting box. All came from the Wilmar Lodge when it merged with the Eureka Lodge #40, F&AM, in Monticello several years ago. A framed commemorative coin from the Monticello lodge’s 150th anniversary also graces the altar top.

A large and bulky “counter” sits along most of the west wall of the room. It holds several publications for sale at the museum. All, or a portion of all, sales go to the support and upkeep of the museum.

As we finish our tour of the “office” area of the Drew County Historical Museum, I realize much of this language is just “words” without pictures. Yet the whole idea behind these articles is to get you to come and look at the museum’s treasures so they will have meaning for you. Many people in Monticello have never been to the museum. Come check things out!

I hope we are sparking your interest to visit and give these treasures real “meaning” for you. People have lived, loved and died in Drew County for generations and our collections are/were a part of lives here. Someday parts of all our lives may too become part of the Drew County museum. Come. Explore. Relive. Imagine. Enjoy! See you at the museum!

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