Grove City Record

Welcome Center hosts there to assist, listen

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A few weeks ago, a 91-year-old woman went into the Grove City Welcome Center Museum with a friend looking for a scrapbook she had donated.

Don Ivers couldn't find her scrapbook, but he found a different scrapbook for her to look through.

"She found her 1944 engagement announcement in the Columbus Evening Dispatch, and she got tears in her eyes," Ivers said. "You could tell she got absorbed into yesteryear."

Ivers and Debbie Edwards are the new hosts and greeters at the Grove City Welcome Center Museum, 3378 Park St. Both are Grove City residents, and for both, this is a second career. Ivers worked 35 years in financial services while Edwards held numerous titles in her 38 years at J.C. Penney distribution

As part-time employees of the Grove City Parks and Recreation Division, they are responsible for greeting visitors at the museum as well as answering questions about the museum's resources, displays and exhibits and the activities of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society and the Grove City Historical Commission.

The job also includes rotating the different exhibits and items at the museum, including a Model T car that is intended to be used in the Arts in the Alley Parade Sept. 20, old photographs from the community, historic firefighter uniforms and other artifacts.

On Sept. 6, the museum will house Rodney Eakins' World of Wonders, a collection of shells, rocks, minerals, moths, shark teeth and more. Currently, the museum has an exhibit highlighting area residents who brought state and national recognition to the community.

"It's not all about earth-shattering news, but there are some real cool things here," Ivers said.

Of course, Ivers and Edwards are there to learn as much as any visitors to the museums.

"They're here to tell a story, and we're here to listen," Edwards said. "We are certainly interested in any and all information they might have. ... That's how we get the information we need: We listen."

Edwards said she's always had an interest in antiques and stories. Her grandparents and mother were all good storytellers.

"That's just something that's bred into you," she said.

Ivers said he's also had an interest in history.

"I want to go back in time," he said. "(Looking at) history allows me to do that."

The Welcome Center Museum's hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours until 8 p.m. Tuesday. Admission is free, but donations are accepted to help with upkeep.

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