PPHM shows off nearly finished product

Renovations to the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum's Pioneer Town started last year when it was announced it would be closed for a while to tear things down and build from the ground up.

The goal was to make it more hands-on.

The museum isn't finished yet, but Tuesday a group of people, had the chance to go inside and see just how far Pioneer Town has come.

Pioneer Town goes back to 1968 and the renovations are said to bring it up to date and make it much more interactive for the visitor.

"They'll really, literally step back into time as they come into the area, and learn about the past and how this area was settled, what people did in the towns that were created across the Panhandle," said Museum Director, Guy Vanderpool.

They stripped the old gallery, brought in a bunch of new materials, and re-arranged the building, making Pioneer Town a whole new experience.

"Everybody that knows Pioneer Town from the past is going to be really surprised because things are in different places, they can go in the buildings now, where before they couldn't go in the buildings and we've tried to be a little more historically correct with the surfaces and all that sort of thing," said Exhibit Shop Supervisor, Kenny Schneider.

The Special Projects Coordinator says paying attention to detail has involved everybody at the P.P.H.M.

"This has been a real team effort of staff from the museum, we've done a lot of research, examined photographs from our collection, trying to get everything as correct as we possibly can," said Becky Livingston.

All three described the new Pioneer Town as an immersion into an actual town from the 1900's.

Things will be more interactive for everyone, and they are looking forward to working their first bilingual labels into the museum.

Vanderpool also told us the new and improved Pioneer Town is scheduled to open in late spring or early summer, and visitors will enter the town through a railroad depot facade.