By MARK EVANS
State and local officials and representatives of the scientific community were on hand Saturday, to officially mark the Ste. Genevieve Museum Learning Center grand opening and ribbon cutting.
Those who spoke all agreed that the museum and its emphasis on dinosaurs, thanks to curator Guy Darrough, should be a huge boost to Ste. Genevieve.
Robert Wolk, president of the museum board of directors, was master of ceremonies. He gave a brief history of how the new museum and its possession of Darrough’s impressive collection came into being.
Guests included Gary Romine, former state senator and current chair of the Missouri Tax Commission; State Representatives Dale Wright and Rick Francis; Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson; Mayor Paul Hassler; tourism director Jeff Wix; Vern Bauman, longtime Levee District No. 3 president; Sandra Cabot, now with the Missouri Department of Economic Development (and former Ste. Genevieve tourism director); Akiko Shinya, preparer for the Field Museum in Chicago; paleontologist Peter Makovicky; and, of course, Guy and Doris Darrough, whose authentic fossils and life dinosaur reproductions form the center of the new museum’s appeal.
Wolk told how the original Ste. Genevieve Museum opened in 1935 in the building (built two years earlier) now occupied by the Sainte Genevieve Art Guild, to help mark the city’s alleged Bicentennial that year.
While it “was a nice museum,” focusing on local history, Wolk said it “became complacent and we had a tough time paying our bills.”
See entire story in the print edition.