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Clarksville hopes to open history museum in 2011

Clarksville, Indiana (AP) May 2010

A new museum showcasing Clarksville’s history could open as early as next year.

The 7,000-square-foot museum will be built in the town’s Community Center Building. Its artifacts will include stone spear points that are at least 8,000 years old, an 1896 Indiana State Prison newspaper and 1930s tote boards from a Clarksville nightclub listing horses for people to bet on.

“It’s all Clarksville’s story to tell,” said Jane Sarles, president of the town’s Historical Society and its Historic Preservation Commission.

The museum is part of a surge in interest in Clarksville’s history that Town Councilman Bob Popp said dates to the 2003 bicentennial of the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark that was credited with opening up the West.

The town was founded in 1783 by Clark’s older brother, George Rogers Clark.

“Clarksville has such a rich history,” Sarles said.

In 2006, the town paid $268,000 for 13.2 acres along the Ohio River that was part of the original town. Last year, tourism officials and the town committed more than $300,000 to pay for a Historic District master plan that will include a park and an archaeological exhibit of axes and other material found in local Native American settlements.

A meeting is scheduled for May 10 to get residents’ input on the historic district.

Sarles said the museum could include a timeline for the town and a “mini-theater” showing a DVD of a local Colgate-Palmolive plant’s history and other movies illustrating the region’s history.

 
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