Monday, July 27, 2015

Laurel Museum, Maryland

The Laurel Museum is the headquarters of the Laurel Historical Society. The museum features displays about major events that have happened in Laurel, Maryland, over the past 300 years.

Laurel Museum

They are undergoing renovations (see the swanky new staircase on the left in the picture above), so we weren't able to see the basement displays, where the interactive children's exhibits are located. We'll have to visit again in the future.

The main floor has plenty of information about Laurel's history. J was naturally drawn to the disaster displays since he has been fascinated by tornadoes recently.

J studies some alarming history

L liked the fire-fighting display; I thought the "fires in Laurel history" timeline was appropriately hung directly over the fireplace.

L by the fire fighting gear

History of fire, Laurel edition

One of the fires wiped out the Laurel Mill, where canvas was made for sails in the early 1800s, then for military tents in the mid-1800s (i.e. during the American Civil War). The docent told us that the recently built St. Mary's Parish Center was modeled after the mill, which explains the old-style look of the building.

St. Mary of the Mills Parish Center

Side view

The next room in the museum had a large display devoted to the most famous incident in Laurel--the Wallace Shooting. Alabama governor and presidential hopeful George Wallace was shot on May 15, 1972, during a campaign rally at the Laurel Shopping Center. He was not killed but his bid to be the Democratic candidate ended.

Not the best reason to be famous

Other, less famous crimes are also noted in the museum in the Crime Beat section.

J considers a life of crime

The museum has a computer with all the back issues of the Laurel Leader, the local newspaper. The desk for the computer was the one used by long-time Laurel Leader editor Gertrude Poe. The nearby wall has some moveable type from the old printing press days.

Gertrude Poe's desk

No longer needed publishing supplies

L had a chance to make her own headlines, but that's a story for another post.

Not really a "longtime" resident

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