MOUNT IDA – The Heritage House Museum in Mount Ida was recently featured in a video as part of the Arkansas Highlands Folk Project. Museum Director Barry Mickey talked about the library and all that it has to offer.
Arkansas Highlands Folk Project is the brainchild of Charlie Moore who travels the Arkansas Highlands in search of old time music history. This is the second video to feature Montgomery County. Charlie also talked to Liz Robbins, who is the director of the Garland County Museum, about what the museum in Hot Springs has to offer.
Barry shared that Heritage House Museum is a private non-profit organization that is funded by an endowment made possible by the late Richard Whittington and donations from members. He added that currently there are about 100 members.
He admitted that there isn’t a lot of musical displays at the moment in the Heritage House Museum, but there are a multitude of items to explore. All exhibits originated in or were used in Montgomery County between 1840 and 1975.
The museum has an extensive genealogical section that includes family histories and cemetery information. Barry stated that you can look to see who lived here, as well as find out if you still have relatives living in the county.
The museum has an extensive photo collection with between 10,000 and 15,000 photos in their collection.
The museum features exhibits regarding the history of the timber and mining industries in the county, military history, schools and Native American artifacts. One of the most popular new exhibits is a working rotary payphone. Visitors can call anyone, anywhere from the museum on the phone.
One of the most anticipated events each year is the Sorghum Festival which will be held October 9 this year. The festival features the sorghum syrup making process with volunteers growing the sorghum throughout the year and then harvesting it. They squeeze the sorghum onsite and cook the mash down to syrup. There are also vendors and other old time exhibits on display. The event is free to the public.
The museum is located at 819 Luzerne Street in Mount Ida. They are currently closed for the winter, but will reopen March 1. For more information visit their website at www. Hhmmc.org, or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hhmmc.
The video Barry participated in can be found on the Garland County Library Facebook page, or on their Youtube channel.
Story by: Dewayne Holloway, Montgomery County News, February 17, 2022