What do conjoined calves, weird science, and photos of Calvin Coolidge have in common? You can view them all at the Pioneer Museum (300 N. River St., 605/745-5147, www.pioneer-museum.com, mid-May–mid-Oct. Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., closed in winter, adult $5, senior $4, child under 12 free if accompanied by an adult, family pass $15).
The museum is housed in a beautiful historic building that was built in 1893 of pink sandstone from the local Burke Quarry. The building was active as a school until 1961. There are three floors of exhibits.
The museum collections include artifacts from pioneer and town life from the 1880s through the 1970s; it’s an eclectic collection of items that represent life in everyday Fall River County. The museum has an extensive collection of turn-of-the-20th century artifacts, including furniture, glassware, farm implements, photographs, and clothing from that era.
Three rooms of the museum include re-creations of everyday life in a school room, kitchen, and parlor. There is also a fully stocked general store and post office. Not surprisingly, the museum also has a collection of medical equipment, including an iron lung and an early 1900s dentist’s office. The museum also owns one of the early sculptures created by Gutzon Borglum, the artist behind the carving of Mount Rushmore.
The museum is very family friendly, with special activities just for children. Kids especially enjoy participating in the museum’s scavenger hunt and ringing the schoolroom bell.
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition