Explore the past at the Summerdale Museum and Archives

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 8/11/21

SUMMERDALE - Nestled in downtown Summerdale is a hidden gem, one that serves to keep the town’s past alive. Have you ever wondered what life was like in Summerdale during times gone by or the rich …

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Explore the past at the Summerdale Museum and Archives

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SUMMERDALE - Nestled in downtown Summerdale is a hidden gem, one that serves to keep the town’s past alive. Have you ever wondered what life was like in Summerdale during times gone by or the rich military history of those who fought in numerous wars throughout America’s history? If so, then step inside the Summerdale Museum and Archives to learn the answers, and more.

Edna Woodard has run the museum since it originally opened less than ten years ago. She and her late husband worked together to hang photos of over 60 WWII veterans and 11 WWI veterans. Woodard herself has placed more than 100 photos of veterans who served in various wars, beginning with the War of 1812 through the present, on the walls of the next-door Community Center. All are photos of veterans who grew up in Summerdale or lived there at some point of their lives. According to Woodard, most went to war only to return and quietly go back to tending to their farms and fields.

At the start, Woodard said a group of community members worked with her and her husband to bring the first memorabilia into the museum and create the original displays. Since, she’s continued to gather more items from the past from local families who want to keep the town’s history preserved and on display for the next generations to learn their heritage, and for older generations to relive memories.

A newer exhibit, started by Woodard, features a large variety of saltshakers that she has collected throughout the years, both from throughout America as well as from around the world. Strolling through the museum’s various displays will reveal everything from antique typewriters to dolls, artwork to clothing items.

Woodard says there’s still potential for more growth at the museum, as well. The current displays are nearly at capacity, and Woodard hopes the museum will grow in the future to incorporate even more memorabilia from Summerdale’s past. Any local family who has photos of a veteran who lives or has lived in Summerdale and would like for it to be displayed are welcome to drop by the museum and speak with Woodard. Any items that could be displayed within the museum are welcome as well.

For those who would like to visit the Summerdale Museum and Archives and immerse themselves in the sights and stories of the town’s past, drop by the museum, located at 300 West Jackson Avenue, Summerdale. Current operating hours are Tuesdays from 1 - 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. For a special tour, call 251-989-6682. Admission into the museum is free. Donations are always welcome for museum improvements and upkeep. Visit www.summerdaleal.com/museum-archives for more information.