With an ‘open house’ and dedication of a mural wall featuring photos of long-ago Escalon, the city’s Historical Society and Museum welcomed a huge crowd on Saturday, Oct. 28.
The mural was paid for entirely through memorial contributions in honor of the late Irma Bailey, a charter member of the Historical Society and longtime docent, who passed away earlier this year.
Historical Society President Vickie Mello said the outpouring of support and financial contributions to honor Bailey with the special mural wall was heartwarming. So, too, was the large turnout of residents on Saturday to share in the celebration.
“We decided it’s time Escalon knows that we’re here,” Mello said of hosting the Open House, which definitely drew in some newcomers to the Main Street site. “It’s amazing, we had no clue it would be this big, the people are coming out.”
While there were many Bailey family members in attendance for the dedication, Mello said she was delighted to see other visitors come in and tour the many displays and mementoes from the city’s history. A brick wall, with names engraved on the bricks of current and former residents, also drew attention.
“People are finding bricks on the wall, now families will recognize those pictures on the wall,” she said of the mural placed above the bricks and behind the main counter.
Mello added that there is “100 years of expanded knowledge and history” of Escalon contained with the walls of the museum. Saturday also featured a membership drive, with both renewals and new memberships accepted and the society looks to continue its work.
Taking a turn on the microphone during the mural dedication was Evelyn Swass, Bailey’s younger sister.
“She passed away Feb. 24, 2017 at the age of 93½,” Swass said of Bailey. “She was a charter member, worked as a docent in this museum for nearly 28 years. This is such a special day for our family.”
The museum is open every Wednesday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.