Noe seeks solutions for Halls history museum

Shannon CareyFeature, Halls

It’s been a year since we first reported on the Halls history museum, painstakingly curated by volunteer and history enthusiast Hubert LaRue. But the effort to find a new, public home for the museum hasn’t stopped. A group of dedicated community members are committed to finding a solution.

One person leading the charge is Gordy Noe of Pioneer Heating and Air Conditioning. He said that back in the spring the Halls Alumni Committee called a meeting to get serious about the museum. Now, a museum committee has been formed, consisting of members of the Halls Crossroads Women’s League, Halls Alumni, the Halls Business and Professional Association, and some at-large members. They’re getting the new slate of county officeholders on board, too.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has visited the museum, and the committee has met with Sheriff Tom Spangler and County Clerk Sherry Witt. One solution that has been suggested is to attach the museum to the county offices in Halls. Noe said another option is to find a business willing to host the collection.

“We’re just asking for ideas to help,” said Noe. “We’re looking for a home for it, and we don’t have a budget to build or staff a museum.”

Along with artifacts from days gone by, the museum is host to countless photographs, written histories and documents like phone directories and school annuals. Volunteers are already hard at work scanning and cataloging the photos and records.

“(The museum) should be real important to the people who grew up there because that’s their parents, grandparents, relatives and friends,” said Noe. “But it should be equally important to the people who move in here, too. I would want to know the history of my community.

“Every time I walk in there I remember something I’d forgotten and learn something I didn’t know about.”

Noe praised LaRue’s work.

“The fact that Hubert has spent half his life and probably half his money to put this together is probably enough to want to save it,” Noe said. “It’s amazing all the stuff he has gathered.”

The museum project is not yet ready to accept monetary donations, but volunteers to help scan and catalog are needed. Anyone wanting to help, or anyone with space to house the collection, should contact Noe at the Pioneer offices, 865-922-2817.

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