BLACKFOOT — The Bingham County Historical Museum has reopened its doors after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, Gov. Brad Little declared a stay-at-home order due to rapidly climbing COVID-19 cases, forcing people to abandon their workplaces and leaving many businesses suddenly vacant.
“When they (museum staff) left, they just left. Everybody assumed that we were only going to be locked down for 2 weeks, and it ended up being 2 years,” the museum curator tells EastIdahoNews.com.
The museum, which is inside of the John G. Brown mansion, a restored 1905 Southern-style mansion built from local lava rock, slowly deteriorated over the hiatus with nobody able to maintain it during the pandemic.
“I don’t think anybody anticipated what was going to happen, and when we came in there was a lot of cleaning we had to do. There’s still some damage that we have to fix because the roof got leaky during that time,” the curator said.
For the month of May, the museum will be featuring a special military exhibit to honor the veterans of Bingham County, in addition to the regular exhibits.
“Right now the exhibit is to commemorate all of the wars and all of the people who have served. We have every branch of the military exhibited right now,” the curator said.
The regular exhibits include Native American artifacts, period clothing and furnishings, musical instruments, military uniforms, a doll collection and numerous historical photos.
The Bingham County Historical Society operates the Bingham County Historical Society Museum, which is located at 190 North Shilling in Blackfoot. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
Veterans or active duty men and women will receive free admission for the month of May with their military ID. Regular admission is $5. Children and seniors are $3.