The South Arkansas Heritage Museum opens in May

MAGNOLIA — The South Arkansas Heritage Museum will open in May, but the effort to bring a history museum to Magnolia has taken years.

Amy Staten McNeil decided in 2015 that Magnolia needed a museum to preserve local history and artifacts, she said.

Since then, she and many others have made the South Arkansas Heritage Museum a reality. In 2016, locals started donating money, historical documents and artifacts.

In 2019, the Longino House was donated to become the physical location of the museum. Since then, a lot of work and love has gone into the historic building to restore it to look like it did when it was first built in the 1920s, McNeil said, including finding original furniture. ‘era.

The museum’s primary goals are historic preservation, education, culture and tourism, McNeil said. She said she hopes there can be many different educational programs to teach the history of Columbia County through both artifacts and documents, and the stories of citizens.

However, the museum will not only house historical artifacts and information about Columbia County. It will also work to preserve the history of surrounding areas that do not have their own museums.

The South Arkansas Heritage Museum is not Magnolia’s first museum.

Nettie Hicks Killgore, who wrote “History of Columbia County Arkansas,” also created a pop-up museum at Southern Arkansas University called the South Arkansas Museum.

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