The NHS handing Robert Figueroa of Figueroa Landscape Designz a check for the renovation of the farm equipment exhibit, from left to right, Mary Morre, Debbie Allan, Nona Gourley, Teri Galindo, Pat Crow, Kari Thompson, Jim Thompson, and Robert Figueroa. 

During a committee meeting that took place five months ago, a renovation project for the Newman Museum’s outdoor farming exhibit  had been proposed and agreed upon by Newman Historical Society members and has now started. 


The last project that the museum had taken on was more than two years ago and was conducted by NHS members Barbara and Tom Powell, who created rotating display cases along with their coinciding signs, which showcase the history of the museum and what life was like for teenagers in the 1940s.


Though the initial discussion that the NHS had before the meeting was to simply add a garden to the outdoor exhibit, due to several suggestions by club members of additional beautifications to go alongside the garden, the project had soon grown into a complete renovation of the exhibit.


“The plan was to see the members’ ideas to completion, so what they wanted to do was bring in some roses, so the roses will be installed in the yard and they'll go in half wooden barrels down the length of the back of the building,” said NHS committee member Kari Thompson. 


Along with the installation of the rose garden, the existing gravel yard will be cleared out so that it will lay underneath the rose barrels. The renovation will also include laying new decomposed granite gravel to allow for a smoother walking surface for visitors. 


There are also plans to designate a portion of the yard to add an outdoor meeting space for visitors that will take place in the form of a gazebo. Other additions to the exhibit will be trees, shrubs, and other decorating foliage. 


Due to the mass size and amount of time and resources needed for the renovation, NHS board members had spoken with the City of Newman’s Public Works Department in hopes to collaborate with them on this project.


Although the City owns the Newman Museum and most of the artifacts that lay inside it, the NHS is responsible for all installation and project material costs. This project is funded completely by the fundraising efforts of the NHS.


The NHS has hired Figueroa Landscape Design to construct the project, which should be near completion by the end of this month. 


“There are a lot of possibilities once the exhibit is open,” Thompson said. “While speaking with the other members, I know that there's an interest to be able to have an educational program provided either to school age children and/or to the community at large, but they would like to see the outdoor space utilized more.”


Now that construction is well on its way the NHS expects to have a grand unveiling of the exhibit once renovations are completed and to start implementing projects such as the educational programs as soon as possible. 



The museum is open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays. For more information call (209) 862-0239.