Monroe County Local History Room wins national award

The Monroe County Local History Room and Museum won an American Association for State and Local History award of excellence for its exhibit, “Monroe County A to Z.” (Contributed photo)

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), based in Nashville, recently announced that the Monroe County Local History Room and Museum in Sparta was the recipient of an Award of Excellence for the “Monroe County A to Z” exhibit.

The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 74th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history, according to a press release prepared by AASLH.

The theme of “Monroe County A to Z” exhibit is that of a colorful, alphabet history pop-up book that highlights what is special about Monroe County from corner to corner. Each letter of the alphabet represents a place, person, or event that is remarkable about the county. For example, “A” for Astronaut Deke Slayton, “B” for Bike Trail, “C” for Cranberries, all the way through to “Z” for the “zzzt, zzzt” of the saw blade that was once commonly heard in the northwestern corner of the county during the lumbering era of the 1800s.

“Monroe County A to Z” is a professionally made, fully interactive exhibit which features 27 hands-on components: things that the visitor can touch, lift, turn, and hear to learn more about the subject. In addition, historic artifacts and images are featured. Pica Grove Image Allies of Sparta fabricated the exhibit using designs created by Local History Room staff.

This year, AASLH conferred 50 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2019 AASLH Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on Friday, Aug. 30. The banquet is supported by a contribution from the History Channel.

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history to make the past more meaningful to all people.

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