Preserving history takes space.
And those spaces over time require preservation work on their own merit.
That’s the challenge the Warren County Historical Society faces as it kicks off a new campaign to preserve the brick exterior of the Wilder Museum in Irvine.
“Eighty years of weathering has taken its toll on the museum to the point action needs to be taken to maintain the building’s integrity,” Casey Ferry, the Society’s event coordinator, explained. “Necessary work includes restoration of the exterior bricks, such as repointing individual and rebuilding wall section(s).”
The museum is located in what was the Irvine School from its construction in 1940 until it was closed in 1981. The building was then a National Forge annex until 1990 with meeting space, a research laboratory and fitness center.
The Wilder family founded the museum specifically exhibiting many of the National Forge’s defense weapons.
That museum was donated to the Historical Society in 1996 and has since been transformed to include and encompass all eras of the county’s history – agriculture, oil, lumber, railroads, rafting, military, Warren State Hospital, Kinzua Dam, Seneca Nation, Irvine-Newbold Estate, furniture manufacturing, antique toys, communications, Civilian Conservation Corps and more.
It’s open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 16.
The BRICK Fundraising Campaign is seeking to raise $50,000 to complete the work.
Donations can be made online at warrenhistory.org under the Wilder Museum of Warren County History tab or via check mailed to the Museum at PO Box 144, Irvine, Pa., 16329. Cash or check can also be dropped off at the Museum or the Society’s Fourth Ave. facility.