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Downtown Museum Reopens Doors And Welcomes Visitors
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Escalon Historical Society President David Russell looks over a new addition to the museum on Main Street, a small version of a barn, complete with implements and plenty of historical information. Marg Jackson/The Times

After several months of being shut down, Escalon’s Main Street Museum, run by the Historical Society, was open for tours and business on Saturday.

Courtesy of San Joaquin County advancing into the ‘red’ tier amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the doors were opened on Oct. 3. They will remain open for regular hours, Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as long as the county stays in the ‘red’ classification.

For Historical Society President David Russell, completing his first year at the helm, it was a happy day.

“I said when I took over I wanted to accomplish two things,” he said. “I wanted to get a roof on the building and have fun.”

The roof project – which has been completed – was done with assistance and expertise from CT Brayton and Sons as well as a donation from that firm. Other donations came from American Crane Rental, Pacific SouthWest Irrigation and Main Street Garage, Russell explained, with many personal donations as well. The work itself was done by Advanced Roofing out of Oakdale.

Russell said it was extremely beneficial to have businesses and residents step up to donate, as the Historical Society missed out on its major fundraiser of the year this spring due to the pandemic. They did have a ‘Park Fete’ drawing for a donated painting that was held around the time the city normally would have hosted the summertime event. That brought in some funds but Russell said the donations for the roof made the difference.

Now that the roof is done, he added, he can have fun.

Part of that fun included helping coordinate a new barn façade in the museum, with information, local farm implements and some history all making up the display. Another new display, with plenty of donated pieces, is one featuring antique radios.

A handful of staffers were at the museum on Saturday to welcome any visitors and they are also planning to return to the monthly ‘Reminisce Day’ schedule on the first Wednesday of the month.

Along with the Wednesday and Saturday hours, the museum is also open by request by calling 209-838-8070.

Society officials have added some new items to the gift shop and are hoping that residents will support them, perhaps purchasing some holiday gifts at the local museum at 1630 Main this year.

Even though they are open, officials added that they will not have the traditional October Open House or Installation Dinner right now, hoping to offer them at a later date.

A new display, a collection of vintage radios, has been set up at the Escalon Museum on Main Street. The museum has been able to reopen though face coverings and social distancing will be requested. Marg Jackson/The Times