A museum by its very nature is a uniquely valuable resource. The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum is no exception. The museum houses the Morrison County Historical Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of artifacts and historical information regarding Morrison County. The museum provides not only a safe repository for the protection and preservation of the Society’s collection, it also serves as an appropriate setting for study and interpretation.
In 1895, museum administrator George Brown Goode (1851-1896) defined a museum as “an institution for the preservation of those objects which best illustrate the phenomena of nature and the works of man, and the utilization of these for the increase in knowledge of the people.” Items in the collection at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum are inherently valuable for the information that they provide. The museum’s secure, climate-controlled environment provides valuable shelter for the collection. The collection, which is the core and foundation of the organization, constitutes a non-renewable resource that would be impossible to replace if destroyed.
Through activities such as research, exhibits and other public programming, staff at the museum place items from the collection within a broader context, thus providing for the greatest enjoyment and benefit by the public. Active research into the collection realizes its potential as a learning tool. Exhibits based on the collection encourage visitors to explore the ways individuals and societies perceive themselves and the world in which they live. As the collection continues to grow, valuable clues are added to the rich and diverse story of our cultural heritage.
The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum, like other museums throughout the world, serves to convey information and ideas through the collection, preservation, study and interpretation in perpetuity of the items within its care. As the staff at the museum seeks to learn more about the human experience, we are constantly reminded that so much is still a mystery in history. Perhaps that is what makes it so compelling.
By Ann Marie Johnson
Copyright 2008, Morrison County Historical Society