STEPHENVILLE An organization promoting the history of the Stephenville has officially been incorporated and is now looking for a home.
Debbie Brake-Patten, interim president of the Stephenville Historical Society Inc., said their group has received its incorporation and their immediate goal is to work towards opening a museum.
She feels that proceeding along with the incorporation so quickly is a success in itself, considering they only held their first meeting as a group on Oct. 5, 2010.
“... Now we’re incorporated and working on gaining our charitable status,” she said.
The group has 14 members of whom half are executive directors, including Brake-Patten, Alan Chislett, Mary O’Quinn, Linda Collier, Clayton Billard, Corinne Tulk and Heather Downey.
Members have already sorted and categorized artifacts collected by Gilbert E. Higgins during his lifetime, which are currently in storage at a Stephenville Airport building.
The society is looking at a number of different themes to highlight in their museum.
In addition to the Higgins materials, they are looking at categories of aboriginal; French; timelines of Stephenville; airport; fishery and farming; mines, mills and industry; railway; Sandy Point; Ernest Harmon American Air Force Base; Mosey Murrin; Emile Benoit, the Stephenville flood, and resettlement.
“What we really need now is a location, and we’d love to piggy back off an existing building in the town, even if it has a business currently operating in it,” Brake-Patten said.
Once they have space, the plan is to appoint team leaders from within their committee with a theme they’re most comfortable with, and look to the community for volunteers who have like interests to serve on those sub-committees.
The goal is to collect artifacts, get everything together and prepare it for presentation under the different themes within the museum.
It is hoped once it’s ready for operation to apply for financing for staffing during summer months.
The group is hoping to get a museum up and running as soon as possible and plan in the future to carry out some fundraising for what it believes is a very worthwhile project for the community.