dup museum

Sharon Johnson talks about a chandelier that hung in the Logan LDS Tabernacle, during a tour of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum on Wednesday in Logan.

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Museum director Sharon Johnson has been working alongside exhibit designer Gail Griswold to update the Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum in Logan. If construction stays on track, they hope to open their doors to the public in February.

Cache Valley Visitors Bureau director Julie Hollist Terrill is excited for the museum’s opening, and sees the new exhibit as an opportunity for visitors to experience Utah culture.

“I have long looked forward to having a museum in the downtown area,” Terrill said. “We can send visitors across the street to a historical building to experience our heritage.”

“Everything has been updated, refurbished, and reorganized,” Johnson said of the updated museum, with a new entrance on Federal Avenue. “The new entrance and elevator have provided better accessibility.”

Johnson wanted to include many perspectives, cultures, and religions that were important to the founding of Cache Valley.

“We wanted to create a new, welcoming exhibit,” Johnson said.

Griswold said this is an innovative step for a Daughters of Utah Pioneers museum.

“They are usually focused on the pioneers,” she said.

Each panel has a large photo of a person from that era. These people were chosen to represent the role and culture of the different groups.

“We have a language about pioneer history and most of the time people from outside of Utah don’t understand,” Johnson said.

That’s why the new exhibits include plenty of interpretation and historical background.

“I wanted to give the impression you are walking here among people; people who were here before you,” Griswold said. Daughters of Utah Pioneers are known for their collection of artifacts; “almost like a grandmother’s attic,” she said.

The idea for the new exhibit is to bring a new historical interpretation to the museum and build on that foundation. Johnson has been able to take history and pair the stories with real people. She hopes this approach helps visitors relate to the objects and stories they are seeing.

“Most of the time when you look at artifacts you create your own connection and story,” Johnson said. “We want to give a broader perspective.”

Adding this interpretive layer, rather than just looking at artifacts, changes the visitors’ experience. The hope is to present an opportunity to discuss how these artifacts relate to people from history.

In addition to the welcome exhibit, there are new artifacts added to the collection.

“We have been able to pull some artifacts out of the basement that haven’t been seen for decades,” Johnson said.

For instance, a hanging chandelier is new to the exhibit. Made from hurricane lamps used in the Logan Tabernacle, the lamps were repurposed into a chandelier that hung at a local church.

Hyrum Museum director Jamie Van Noy believes this is truly a fantastic, interpretive exhibit.

“What makes this new exhibit stand out is how relatable, digestible, engaging and educational it is,” Van Noy said.

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