JACKSON, Miss.- With help from many volunteers, Mississippi’s Agriculture and Forestry Museum reopened Monday after a blazing fire took out three of their buildings a few weeks ago.
While flames rose higher and the buildings crumbled before their eyes, some people lost more than just a building, but they lost the memories their families made there.
Lise Foy Executive Director for the Agriculture and Forestry Museum said, “This museum belongs to the people of the state of Mississippi and all of the artifacts that were here were gathered from families around the state so there are a lot of people that have ties and emotional connections to the museum and the story that we tell.”
Volunteers Aimee Clark and her son Ashland were there hours before the fire broke out that day.
“My family and I were out here for Harvest Festival working. We left probably about an hour before everything started. It was really hard because we spend a lot of time out here. As my children say this is home and the staff here are very much family.”
They have been there day after day helping the museum in every way they can. The Ag Museum still needs lots of volunteers to help with rebuilding, data entry and renovations.
“We lost the children’s barn yard, the veterinary infirmary and the maintenance shop, but right now we’re trying to focus on what we’ve got, see what we’ve got and see where we can go from here.” Clark said, “We’ve made a lot of progress in the last two to three weeks and looking to make some more.”
Ashland Clark, 9, even started a fundraiser for some of the animals.”I’m raising money for my birthday because the harnesses for the mules, Sally and Joe, were in the barn when it burnt.”
His birthday is December 9th and he plans to continue collecting funds until the end of the month. Ashland hopes to raise $2,000 for the mules. You can donate to Ashland’s Mule Project and for the renovations through the Mississippi Ag Museum Foundation.