Museum Monday: The Old Independence Regional Museum

 

I’ve loved museums my entire life…and after working in one for 10 years, that love only grew stronger. On Mondays, I will share some of my favorite museums located within the 26 counties of eastern Arkansas.
 
Kimberly J. Williams
 
The Old Independence Regional Museum in Batesville interprets and preserves the history of 12 counties in northeastern Arkansas, parts of which comprised Independence County when it was established in 1820.

When you arrive at the Old Independence Regional Museum, the artifacts and exhibits aren’t the only historical items you’ll see. The building that houses the museum is historical as well. Built in 1936, the native stone building was a Works Progress Administration project and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Inside the museum, you’ll find exhibits focusing on the history of the 12-county region. Exhibit areas include the Shawnee Room, where visitors can learn about the earliest residents of the area that would eventually become Independence County. Discover the difficulties of travel in the area before railroads and automobiles in the exhibit Regions on the Move. Where the Delta Meets the Ozarks focuses on the 12 counties that originally formed Independence County, the history of the area, and the people who call the region home. In 2009, the museum added an exhibit entitled Living Off The Land: Season By Season. The exhibit focuses on how residents relied on the land, used the land, and adapted the natural environment around them to meet some of their most basic living needs.

The Old Independence Regional Museum is located at 380 South Ninth Street in Batesville. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1:30-4 p.m. For more information, visit the OIRM Web site at www.OIRM.org or phone 870-793-2121.

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