This month’s Mercer Savings Bank Giving Mission recipient is the Garst Museum in Greenville. The historical museum houses over 300,000 artifacts and centers its mission on collecting, preserving, exhibiting, studying, and interpreting materials relating to the history and culture of Darke County, Ohio.
Permanent Exhibits at the Garst Museum
The museum is located in the Garst House and offers more than 35,000 square feet of exhibit space. The house, previously an inn owned by the Garst family, was donated to the Darke County Historical Society in 1946.
The Darke County Historical Society operates the Garst Museum and is dedicated to preserving the history of the county and fostering education on its relevance to the American experience. Visitors of all ages are welcome to enjoy the exhibitions and lectures.
Permanent exhibits in the museum include the following:
- The National Annie Oakley Center – explore the life of Annie Oakley
- Crossroads of Destiny – discover the history of the Treaty of Greenville
- Keepers of Freedom – view the artifacts and uniforms of Darke County veterans
- Douglas Dickey Exhibit – learn about this Darke County native and Medal of Honor recipient
- Lowell Thomas – find interesting highlights of Lowell’s life
- The Story of Longtown – see how this unique tri-racial settlement began
- The Bull Moose Visits Greenville – get a glimpse of this momentous occasion in Greenville
“Many may know about our Annie Oakley and Lowell Thomas exhibits,” said Development Director Nancy Hegemier. “However, I think some people don’t realize we do have an exhibit that honors Veterans from the county called Keepers of Freedom.”
Free Lecture Series, Annual Event, Museum Store, and More
The Garst Museum welcomes the community to free lectures throughout the year, highlighting exhibits and other historical events in Darke County. The museum also offers a special educational program for all fourth-grade students in the county to learn more about Ohio’s history.
Additionally, the Gathering at Garst is held each year on the museum grounds during the last full weekend of July to celebrate the county’s history.
“We have a community event every year called the Gathering,” added Hegemier. “It’s a free event, and we have music, vendors, food, and more.”
The Gathering visitors will enjoy creative artists, historic craftsmen, antiques, primitive folk art, live musical entertainment, garden exhibitors, a living history encampment, food vendors, a farmers market, and more. Find more information about the Gathering on the special event website.
Another fun aspect of the Garst Museum is the Museum Store. The store sells a curated collection of books, CDs, toys, games, collectibles, postcards, posters, and more.
You can find announcements of monthly store specials on their website, or you can also order items online.
Volunteers, Memberships, and Other Means of Support
There are many ways you can get involved and support the Garst Museum. Some choose to dedicate their time as museum volunteers.
Volunteer opportunities include serving as a receptionist, educational docent, and genealogy office worker. Volunteers can also help with cataloging, museum store sales, and special events and exhibits.
Individuals and families can become members of the museum, earning free admission and store discounts. Charitable contributions are also always appreciated and provide funding for necessary repairs, equipment, and personnel.
“The Giving Mission funds will be used to help preserve the past and shape the future of the Garst Museum through upgrades and renovations,” said Hegemier.
More Information About the Garst Museum
To learn more about the museum, membership options, and volunteer opportunities, or to make a donation, please see the contact details below: