Often people come to visit the museum and expect that things have not changed in the 50 years that it has been operated by the Twin Falls County Historical Society. In the beginning, interested individuals donated items and volunteered their time to open the doors. After finding old scrapbooks, it was found that the Historical Society was very active, putting up signs, hosting field trips and events, and Gus Kelker wrote a column for the newspaper that appeared nearly every week. Mr. Kelker was on the board and heavily involved with the historical society so his column was a great asset to the museum. As time went on, many members grew old, moved away or passed on and interest in the museum grew a little stagnant.
About 20 years ago, Chris and Tama Bolton were the administrators at the museum. The Bolton's undertook a number of projects that greatly improved not only the museum, but the reputation of the Historical Society. Chris published several spiral bound books on many subjects that are still pertinent today. Apparently Chris moved on due to health reasons and in the following years administrators and directors came and went.
The Historical Society board of directors currently consists of six members, but there have been as many as ten to twelve at a time. Directors are chosen by the membership at the annual meeting in the fall. Memberships are purchased for as little as $15 annually for individuals. You must be a member in good standing for at least one year and volunteer at the museum for that length of time, (and, no, volunteering to be on the board doesn't count.)
How many former directors and administrators are there? A lot.
Who is responsible for the museum's success? Depends on who you ask.
How have things changed recently? Glad you asked! The current board and administration is dedicated to keeping the museum a viable part of the community. By cooperating with the county commissioners and parks department, the grounds have been vastly improved and curb appeal has increased. We are open year around and keep regularly scheduled hours. Each board member has a specific role and the administrator is responsible to the board of directors. Ego's and agenda's are left at the door. We have projects, events and field trips that take place throughout the year and a newsletter for members, informing them of upcoming events. Former Union School students are still interested in their alma mater and are supportive of keeping the building and grounds as a museum.
How can I help? Contact the museum at (208) 736-4675 if you have questions. To volunteer, you have to appear in person and fill out an application. You are able to choose what projects you'd like to help with and the amount of time you are able to commit. You can help out for one day, one project or a number of hours per week for a specific duty.
Hopefully this has answered a few of your questions and feel free to make suggestions or comments on the post.