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Museum exhibit to highlight Sulphur

Last Modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 11:46 AM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

SULPHUR — The Brimstone Museum is soliciting donations for a permanent exhibit that will document the history and culture of the city. The project will cost about $212,000.

“We are developing this exhibit in-house with artifacts, photos and stories that have been contributed to the museum over the past 38 years,” said Thom Trahan, museum executive director. “The city has a rich history and is full of great American success stories, and those stories are simply not being shared.”

The city will celebrate its centennial in March 2014, and Trahan said the museum hopes to have the exhibit complete by the celebration.

Trahan said the exhibit will showcase modules for the history of the sulfur mines and the Frasch mining process, local industries, and various people in the city’s history.

“It’s our belief that if we don’t take an active role in preserving the city’s rich history, no one else will,” he said. “The centennial celebration provides the perfect opportunity to get our (residents) excited about our city’s history.”

Trahan said the cost for the museum expansion and exhibits includes the development, construction and production costs and that the museum is seeking financial donations from the city, industries and residents.

The museum is seeking $100,000 from the city — $50,000 this fiscal year and $50,000 in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1 — and hopes to raise the rest through donations. The City Council will vote in April on whether to donate $50,000 to the museum.

“I think it’s a pretty worthwhile idea, and I support it ... this is the thing for Sulphur right now,” councilman Mike Koonce said at Monday’s council meeting. “We might be able to give them the $50,000 and then when (Trahan) comes up again, see how much money they have coming in from other places.”

Trahan said the city’s donation would give the project “legitimacy ... because it says that the city is behind the project.”

He said that if the museum doesn’t raise $100,000 in donations, the project will “hit mass delays” and won’t be complete in time for the centennial celebration.

The Brimstone Museum has been in Sulphur since 1974 as a private nonprofit.

“Our mission is to preserve and enrich the history and culture of Southwest Louisiana,” Trahan said. “The city and the museum mean a lot to me. I was born and raised here and grew up going to the museum as a child.”

For more information or to donate for the project, contact Trahan at 527-0357 or trahan@brimstonemuseum.org.

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