We’re gonna need a much bigger boat!

Do you remember the scene from the movie Jaws when Roy Scheider first came face to face with the killer shark? Realizing the shark was much larger than previously imagined, and eliminating the problem was going to be a much harder job, he said “We are gonna need a bigger boat.”
As I was putting together the opening display of the Donalsonville News Museum, I began to feel the same way and I realized the collective items representing the 97 years of history of this newspaper could not possibly fit into just one room.  Therefore, to effectively present its history, the newspaper museum’s displays will continue to evolve, and in the future and on a scheduled basis, new displays will emerge and rotate to present images of the almost century long Donalsonville News coverage of its churches, its schools, its events and its people.
In the process of putting the newspaper’s museum together the realization that this is only a small fraction of Seminole County’s history became even more evident. This community needs a historical museum now, and we need to do whatever it takes, today, to make one a reality.
One of this community’s greatest assets is its incredible heritage, and the elements that reflect that history is tremendous.  Each and every family from Iron City to Donalsonville to Lake Seminole has boxes and albums filled with photos of its history and memories and tales that need to chronicled, saved and presented for all to see, enjoy and remember.
One of the BetterWay  Initiative’s goals is to enhance the quality of life of today and tomorrow by preserving and promoting the community’s past through the creation of a Seminole County Historical Museum and Heritage Park.
Collecting, preserving, displaying and promoting this community’s history is something, somehow we have to do. It is a good idea. We need to do it now for ourselves because some of that history is slipping away each and every day. We need to do it now for our children for their future. What better way is there for our children to learn about their ancestors and the history of how they lived their lives than by touching it and seeing it displayed in one place right here at home?
Based on the volume of stuff I have come face to face with in putting together historical items from just one small part of our community’s history, and to effectively showcase this entire community’s history in the style and manner it deserves, we are gonna need a much bigger boat than any of us have envisioned.
We need bigger funding. We need the adequate size facilities to house it, and we need more than just a small group of people working on it. This is a project to showcase the history of every citizen in this community and every citizen needs to be on board in making it a reality.
Let’s not keep hoping this will happen. Let’s make it happen now. Eight days ago the Donalsonville News museum did not exist; however, an opening date was put on the calendar and at 2 p.m. on August 22 the Donalsonville News museum became a reality. The same thing can happen with a Seminole County Historical Museum. We just need to do it.
The BetterWay history committee is currently collecting historical photographs and items and countless community members have offered historical elements for future display. With what has already been collected or promised, we could begin enhancing our todays and tomorrows and preserving and presenting our past – now. We just need a bigger boat in which to do it.
There are numerous vacant buildings of adequate size available right now in our community that would be perfect for a Seminole County Historical Museum. Wouldn’t it be great if one of them became our bigger boat?

Comments and impressions are requested and welcomed at [email protected]

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