Cruisers take historic jaunt to town depot

Mary Katherine Murphy Staff Writer

September 17, 2013

GIBSON — Downtown Gibson saw a spike in activity on Tuesday evening as more than 100 people gathered to further the cause of a history museum in the town’s railway depot.

“We’re just trying to preserve some of the old history of Gibson because a lot of people have a lot of things and a lot of them are deteriorating,” said Greg Leonard, a lifelong Gibson area resident who is spearheading the effort to turn the depot into a showcase of Gibson’s vibrant history.

Tuesday saw the second fundraiser for the potential museum, with the Tuesday Cruisers classic car club displaying over 20 antique automobiles around the depot, and a concurrent plate sale benefiting the museum effort.

Leonard said that the museum will display primarily artifacts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and that town residents are consulting with Miranda Chavis, director of the Hamlet Historic Depot and Museum, to guide their plans.

“We’ve got some nice stuff stored back in the back and we’re trying to get a plan together for how to display — we don’t want it out willy-nilly, we want a theme,” Leonard said. “We’ve got a lot of old paperwork like the original handwritten Gibson charter, newspaper stuff, old signs, the telegraph machine, old farming implements and we’re just going to try to do the best we can and see how it goes.”

Thus far, Leonard and a group of volunteers have spent several weekends cleaning the depot and refinishing areas of flooring, in addition to beginning an inventory of town-owned historical artifacts. Many items will come on loan from Gibson residents.

“We’re trying to do it on a very, very limited budget and doing whatever we can to raise money,” said Leonard. “We’re hoping that people will mostly make donations or make a contract with us so that we can borrow things for a few years at a time.”