WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - The history of Stone County will not be easily forgotten thanks to the efforts of a new museum. The Old Fire House Museum opened its doors to visitors this month. Officials say the name comes from the exhibits being kept in what used to be the Old Wiggins fire station.
Volunteer Patty Breazeale said from McHenry to Big Level, there isn't a community in Stone County that isn't represented at the Old Firehouse Museum. And that includes places like Recluse that aren't around anymore.
"We have some communities that have actually gone back into the woods," said Breazeale. "They've disappeared and we want people to know about them, because I had a lady in the other day and she's in her 90s. I mentioned the communities and showed her one of them and I called the name and she said, 'My granddad lived there."
Donations of photographs, newspaper clippings and artifacts tell Stone County's story. It's a story volunteers feel young people need to know.
Breazeale said, "I think they have to know that there are things that happened before them that are the reason that things are as they are today. I mean history makes us what we are."
"History. History. History is something that gets by us sometimes,"said Mayor Jerry Alexander. "I've lived here in this community 66 years. I see stuff in here that I never knew about."
People who visit can learn about education, industry, and local celebrities. However, dearest to Breazeale's heart is a tribute wall to Stone County World War II veterans. The gold stars mark the servicemen who never made it back home.
"It's an emotional thing to walk in. The first time I walked in and saw this board tears whelmed up,"Breazeale said. "It's important to realize these people are why we're here today. And volunteers don't want people to forget their roots."
The Old Firehouse Museum is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 am until 4pm and admission is free. The city of Wiggins is allowing volunteers to use the space at no charge. However, volunteers said they need of donations of artifacts and money to buy supplies like laminating machines and window covers to protect the exhibits.
Learn more about the Old Firehouse Museum by visiting: http://oldfirehousewiggins.org/