New Home of the Tenakee Historical Collection. Photo by Cynthia Meyer, reproduced with permission..Museum

The Tenakee Springs Museum is planned to open for the 2013 summer season. 

The work to create a museum for Tenakee history has been ongoing for several years. In 2010 THC hired museum consultant Mary Pat Wyatt to look at our materials and help make initial decisions.  Based on her recommendations, THC requested assistance from the Alaska State Museum for guidance on how best to proceed. In May 2011 Scott Carlee, Curator of Museum Services for the ASM, visited Tenakee to meet with a group of interested volunteers. With Scott’s help, the THC submitted a grant to ASM for a summer 2012 intern trained in proper museum policies and procedures. Our intern Kate Duffy, will spend 8 weeks with us.

 Following his visit to Tenakee, Scott also wrote a Museum Assessment, which now serves as THC’s primary  guidance document for dealing with its collection and setting museum policies and procedures.

Museum Building
The owners of Snyder Mercantile, Jackie Heinricher and Guy Thornburgh, have leased the small wooden frame building west of the store to the THC for a dollar a month to house the museum. This space is quite small but has the advantage of being in the center of town and close to the ferry dock. The exterior walls of the building have been renovated and a new roof constructed. Considerable interior work remains to be completed before the building is occupied.  Foremost, the existing shiplap walls need to be removed so that the building can be insulated and rewired.  The new walls will be wainscot chairrail with an upper sheet rock construction.  Once that is done exhibit preparation can be accomplished.

Museum Collection
The museum collection has been donated and accumulated over a period of many years from various sources. As part of the Snyder Mercantile renovation, Guy and Jackie donated many years of town records which had been loosely stored on the second floor. Before his death, Bob Pegues contributed materials he had collected in hopes of writing a book about the Superior Cannery.

Most of the collection comprises written records of various kinds, but it also includes numerous domestic and non-domestic hardware and artifacts.  We also have an old still used during the days of prohibition, a springboard used in logging, and a stone adze found in the inlet.

Museum Operation
Present THC plans call for the museum to have regular, posted hours when it will be open and staffed with volunteers.  Additionally, the museum will be open by appointment.

All positions in the THC and museum are volunteer. Teresa Hura has volunteered to serve as museum director in charge of the whole museum and its workings. We are looking for other volunteers to fill one or more of the following:

Curator—oversees the care, display and information about the objects in the collection

Registrar—keeps track of all museum objects

Volunteer Coordinator—schedules and coordinates docents and other museum volunteers

Business Officer—in charge of the museum’s finances, bills, records of income