Historic Meeting Settles Morrell House Question

By Deborah Jackson
After its grand opening almost a year ago, and after much discussion among City officials and the public, it looks like the Morrell House will be open to the public in the very near future.
At its November 21, 2006 regular meeting, the City Council moved to refer the use of the Morrell House to the Preservation, Rec and Parks and Historical Commissions for their input to be brought back to the City Council. The three commissions scheduled a joint commission meeting on December 13, 2006. This was not only historic in the fact that there had never been a joint meeting among three commissions, but all three commissions reached a unanimous decision! The commissions recommended that the house be opened as a living history museum with custodianship to go to the Historical Society. At its December 19, 2006 regular meeting, the City Council approved that very recommendation. It also directed staff to enter into lease negotiations with the Historical Society and allowed the furniture to be moved in prior to the finalization of the lease agreement in order to avoid additional fees.

The Historical Society met on Saturday, December 30, and moved the furniture into the house. After the many years of storage, we discovered that items other than the original Morrell House furniture had somehow found their way into storage. We hope to complete lease negotiations soon and begin the process of editing what we have, refurbishing what we will keep, and looking for donations for the pieces we need to complete our Living History Museum.

Thank you to Recreation & Community Services Director, Mike Witzansky, for all his efforts in coordinating this process. Thank you to the commissioners from the three commissions for taking time to attend this special joint commission meeting and working so well together. Thank you to the Historical Society members and the public for attending all the various meetings, as well as sending letters to voice your opinions. Thank you to the Council and City Staff for all their efforts in making this happen! We will be calling on our Membership to help donate time, money or memorabilia once we get moving!

Thank you for your support!

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