Taking Our Tour on the Road…Virtually!
Our local and national response to COVID-19 created massive changes throughout our communities. To help with a request from an area school for online educational resources this past May, the museum’s staff created a recorded tour presentation and participated in an online virtual meeting with over 50 middle school students. A recorded tour of the museum’s Sick Room exhibit by our curator, Annie Anderson, gave an overview of common contagious diseases prevalent at the turn of the 20th century, and explained many of the artifacts on display. She talked about turning the ropes on an antique rope bed to “sleep tight” and how families might have used bedside food warmers and invalid feeders when caring for loved ones. Her tour prompted students to submit some great questions in advance of their online meeting. Our archivist, Layne Carpenter, and museum docent, Tess Will, participated in the hour-long online meeting and answered the students’ questions. Layne also presented her own research about the 1918 influenza pandemic so the students could learn about the similarities and differences to the Coronavirus pandemic. Museum staff were happy to reach out to the students and impressed with all their great response.