Even the ghosts of Pauls Valley’s past need to be straightened every now and then, especially when they’re old photos on the wall of a local museum.

Plenty of memorabilia also join the blast from the Panther past at the museum inside of Pauls Valley’s train depot.

As longtime curator of the museum Adrienne Grimmett is seeing activity pick up these days after a 2020 year that slowed way down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have had a lot people coming to the museum – both local and from out of town,” Grimmett said.

“I think people are just so tired of being cooped up.”

During the pandemic another thing getting completely shut down was the activity of the Pauls Valley Historical Society.

When the pandemic did arrive last year in March it ended all activity for the group, which has not met since with many members getting older and others passing away.

Grimmett, who still spends some of her time helping to maintain the museum’s artifacts, is unsure if the group will rebound from the impact of the virus pandemic.

What she really misses is hearing the laughter of the members meeting on a regular basis or the speakers invited in to offer a presentation to the group right there in the depot museum.

“With COVID-19 some of our members were not getting out that much. It was a hard year, but at some point I do hope we will be more active,” she said.

“I think there are people that love history and have a good story to tell.”

She believes the real hope for the historical society is to someday get a few younger folks who have an interest in preserving local history.

Even going back to last year during the pandemic slowdown Grimmett says the depot museum was still seeing some visitors dropping by for answers on history-related questions.

“It happens all the time. We get letters and people coming in asking if I could look something up for them.”

Some of the visitors have even included a handful of groups, including some with children from out of town coming to check out not only the depot museum but the local Toy and Action Figure Museum, which unfortunately for them was closed through 2020 because of the pandemic.

“They loved it,” she said. “They came in and did everything they were supposed to do with everyone wearing masks. They said they hadn’t seen any of this stuff.

“Some people will come in and say something like, “I didn’t know you had all this neat stuff.’ They really are surprised. We really do have a lot here.”

A lot of that old “neat stuff” can be seen as Grimmett stops to straighten one of the many photos or check out an artifact related to Pauls Valley’s history.

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