The Schweinfurth Museum and Interpretative Center is the educational and entertainment heart of the village. In addition to three categories of exhibits, it houses the Fern Watson Library, the office, the kitchen, restrooms, and storage for generations of artifacts. The large structure was completed in 1996.
The majority of the open museum space is occupied by permanent, rotating, and mobile exhibits. Items like antique pianos and the made-in-Mt. Vernon cookstove are considered permanent exhibits. Other exhibits are designed with a specific theme and populated with appropriately representative artifacts. Each of these rotating exhibits remains available for public viewing for three years.
After the summer open season, the oldest exhibit is retired and removed to make room for the December Model Trains and Christmas seasonal exhibits.
Several mobile exhibits occupy the remainder of the museum. Showcases filled with small or delicate memorabilia, and other movable items, such as the Opdyke Bell and the last Jefferson County bear, are moved to make room for Saturday Afternoon Programs and other special events.
Last year we updated the programs area with a permanent new high-performance sound system, thanks to a grant from the Schweinfurth Foundation. Anybody who had difficulty hearing programs in the past is invited to return with the assurance that that problem is just more history.
This is also the primary area available for use by the public. Call the office for details and availability.
The Rest Stop
Should you tire before you've seen all you came to explore, this spot in the air-conditioned museum is a good place to rest and have a drink. Located between the Fern Watson Library and the kitchen, there's a stack of old books and a place to sit and sip. If you don't get around so good anymore, it's a great place to camp out while the energetic members of your party check everything. They'll come get you when they spot something you just have to see.
Sometimes the younger visitors get a bit bored before the adults have completed their tour. The Rest Stop is also furnished with crayons and materials that enable budding artists to exercise their creativity.