Oral History Tours Return to Museum; Fernandina: 3 New Displays Add a Lot

Article excerpt

Byline: Alison Trinidad, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

The musty smell of wet wood and fresh lacquer permeates the halls of the Amelia Island Museum of History.

Having closed its doors to the public in December for a $500,000 renovation project, the museum still is in disarray.

But officials and volunteers are ready to turn a new page for the museum.

Oral history tours using three new displays as props and backdrop resumed this week at the museum's Eight Flags Gallery, where docents will talk visitors through 4,000 years of island history.

The Eight Flags Gallery is the museum's newest addition, providing an ornate backdrop to the evolution of civilization on Amelia Island. It ranges from a Timucuan settlement to the pirate-infested Fernandina harbor to the interior of a traditional Victorian home.

The display is modern and polished in comparison to the museum's old free-standing displays.

Docents now can integrate maps, photographs and other artifacts into their presentation while manipulating replicas of the eight flags that have flown over the island.

Museum officials hope to add ambient sounds and smells as soon as work on the museum's permanent exhibits is completed, scheduled for mid-April.

"The history is the same, but the tools are different," said Jan Davis, who's been giving tours the last eight years. …

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