Oklahoma Sen. Don Barrington, state Rep. Dennis Johnson, other dignitaries and more than 60 other supporters of the museum participated in the opening of the Temple Museum on Saturday, March 19.
The opening was covered by KSWO-TV from Lawton, Okla. Oklahoma Historical Society Director of Research Bill Welge, who has provided support and advice throughout the creation of the musuem, also attended the opening as did Temple Chamber of Commerce Officers Tara Brown and Lana Driskell.
Museum Association President Harold Powell welcomed guests and gave a brief history of
and the museum. He said the idea for a museum began in 1978 when he purchased the blacksmith shop located behind the City Hall. He formed Temple Museum Association in 1999 and donated the blacksmith shop to the Association then we mailed out over 1000 copies of the proposal to the World Wide Temple Community. The plan was to cover the building to preserve it and include an office and display space. Temple
Plans changed in 2005 when Jay Driskill donated the old cleaners building to the association. The museum association renovated the old building, which during the 1940’s contained a cleaners business and later served as a parakeet house, laundromat and storage facility for Jay’s antiques.
The Temple Museum Association has 179 founding members. It has spent $24,000, and benefited from many hours of donated labor and vehicle miles that went into fixing the facility. Mary Lou Powell Connelly, Nadine McClung Gibson, Bob and Gwen Waller, Wanda and Ken Haley donated funds for Bob Palmer’s murals which brighten the town. Harold says the murals gave the museum creditability.
Senator Don Barrington opened the red door into the museum. Attendees quickly became interested in the many photographs and the artifacts from the communities past. Some walked outside the back door to the blacksmith shop which has an interesting interior and waits funding for saving it for future generations.
Museum hours will be Saturday and Sundays 1:30 - 5:00 pm. Admission is $5. Museum Association members and students free.