Is local history dead?

Some folks could care less about history. They may appreciate the sacrifices and determination of our forebears in a theoretical sense, but don?t see the sense in investing today?s energy and resources to preserve the relics of the past. Others see museums and other expressions of preservation as a way to honor the contributions of those pioneers, and perhaps challenge us to the embrace similar values and aspirations as we consider our challenges for the current day.

Suffice it to say, the city of Hillsboro is looking for folks in the latter camp to express themselves about the future of the city local museums. Last summer, as budgets tightened, the city council cut the funding that provided staff to preserve and promote the town?s two local historical entities, the Mennonite Settlement Museum and the Schaeffler House. Without staff to manage those two museums, local history may not be dead, but it is temporarily comatose.

City leaders have called for a public meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in the community room in city hall to give proponents of Hillsboro?s history an opportunity to chime in about the future of local museums. The session, as city leaders describe it, will be less about decisions made in the recent past and more about decisions that should be made for the future.

We sense a sincere desire by city leaders to gather public input. Unless your voice is heard, this city?s historical treasures may become buried treasures. ?DR

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