The Cherokee County History Museum and Visitors Center opened Wednesday morning in a new location, the former Canton Police Department at 221 E. Marietta St.
Members of the Cherokee County Historical Society moved the offices, archives,artifacts and museum exhibits to the new location, adjacent to Brown Park, in recent days.
The historical society has been based in the Cherokee County Historic Courthouse building for more than 15 years, and the move to the new space marks an important milestone for the group dedicated to preserving Cherokee County’s heritage and culture, officials said Tuesday in a release.
“This new space offers an opportunity to provide a permanent home to our collections and expand our cultural and educational offerings to our community,” said Executive Director Stefanie Joyner.
Joyner, who has served as director of the society for 15 years, said that in the near term the museum will re-open to the public on Wednesday with an expanded museum store and visitor’s center, along with a small exhibit space detailing the history of Cherokee County. The society collections and archives are also available for research assistance by appointment, Monday – Friday. Admission is free and museum hours will remain the same – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Visitors to the new location will enjoy an expanded gift shop featuring hand-made and locally-sourced gifts. Society partner Whim-Wham Art Farm owners Mary and Nicole Fischer-Mullins have curated the collection of items for sale, complemented by the society’s collection of historical books and literature that are also available for purchase. The collection will be continually updated to reflect the communities that make up Cherokee County, Joyner said.
Further expansion is on the horizon for the society in the new location with plans underway for a capital fundraising campaign to enhance the space as a cultural hub and history center. Architect John White with INOX has been hired to convert the space to include interactive historical exhibits, retail space, research and office space, Joyner said. Projected completion is estimated at 2022.
“Mr. White came very highly recommended and is best known locally from his work at the Tellus Science Museum and Booth Western Art Museum,” said Lisa Tressler, the society president and building committee chair. “We are excited and look forward to working with him to create a dynamic new history center that will preserve and celebrate our legacy which stretches from Native American culture, to the Mill village, to today’s modern rebirth of our downtown centers.”