MARLOW, OK (KSWO) - The Marlow Museum opened up its doors for the first day of their new schedule on Friday. The museum will now be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free. Over the past year, the museum was only open by appointment only.
One thing led to another for the museum. They lost their federal funding, and with that the ability to pay their curator. Without someone to man the museum desk, they had to close their doors. But a partnership with Marlow's Economic Development Authority allowed them to bring their curator back, and open the museum back up to curious tourists.
Tucked up on the third floor of the Mercantile in Marlow, Jeanette Johnson Powell is back at her old post.
"I've lived here all my life," Powell said.
Ready to answer any question about Marlow's history, and show a picture, a saddle or a bell to go along with that story.
"A lot of people ask about the old bell," Powell said.
In the museum is a collection of items brought in by Marlow churches, businesses or families. Powell has been the museum curator for 7 years until last year.
But Marlow Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbe Ridley said if you wanted to learn about how Marlow got its name or about a famous Marlow citizen, you'd have to call her up in advance.
"All of us that had been involved up here including the exhibitors, we didn't like it," Ridley said. "We weren't happy about it. If I knew someone was going to be here, I'd try to schedule my schedule where I could come up here and show people around."
Owner of the building and one of the initial museum volunteers D.B. Green said operating the museum that way might have turned some visitors away.
"It's really tough when someone comes to your town to go to the museum, and then they can't find the museum open," Green said. "They have a tendency to just leave. They don't stick around and give us that opportunity to blend them in with the other aspects of the community."
But now with help from the Marlow Economic Development Authority, the museum is open to weekend tourists.
Powell can continue to tell stories, and learn new ones for the new visitors.
"I've learned a lot here, too. But on my days when there is no one here. Then I do a little nosing around, and find out so I can answer questions," Powell said.
A lot has changed in the museum since they first opened nearly 20 years ago. These new hours benefit not only visitors, but also the Marlow residents wanting to see some of those newer items up on display.