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story.lead_photo.caption Bidding is open now for the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society's annual silent auction. Items include glassware, a wooden cooler, a metal stove, collectible ornaments and more. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

History-lovers, rejoice: The Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society has reopened its doors.

The society's museum and research center, both located in Fulton, were closed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout June, history buffs could visit the research center (106 E. 4th St.) by appointment. After discussion within the society's COVID-19 committee, the society opted to open both facilities beginning Wednesday.

"There's a doctor and a nurse on the committee, and they recommended we wait until July 1," said Nancy Lewis, the KCHS museum director. "At the time they made the decision, we were flat on cases."

The Callaway County Health Department reported several new cases Wednesday, bringing the county's total known cases to 52 (15 of which are currently active). If cases continue rising, the KCHS may opt to close the facilities once more — history is important but "we're nonessential it's not that vital," Lewis said.

In the meantime, KCHS is taking precautions to keep volunteers and visitors safe.

"We have hand sanitizer out, and we're encouraging people to wear masks," Lewis said.

A neat stack of surgical mask sits next to the door for patrons who didn't bring their own. Volunteers are wiping down the bathroom between uses and Lewis plans to clean doorknobs and other high-touch surfaces regularly.

Now that the museum is open, the society's annual silent auction can take place. Items are on display in the museum's windows (513 Court St.), and bidding sheets are inside. This year's big item is a Kingdom of Callaway-themed wooden cooler, but the auction also features many other vintage and collectible items. Eye-catching highlights include a gorgeous sunflower-patterned crocheted afghan and a dozen vintage postcards.

For those unable to visit in person, bids may also be made by phone (573-642-0570) or by email ([email protected]). If emailing, write "Silent auction bid" in the subject line and include your name, phone number, the item number and the bid amount.

Bidding closes at 10 a.m. July 18.

The society, which turns 60 this year, is currently planning its annual meeting. The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 18 at 54 Country. It will include lunch and a program.

Contest

KCHS's wall hanging contest is ongoing — after COVID-19 delayed the Callaway 200 Bicentennial Bash, the deadline to enter was extended to Aug. 1.

Submissions must be between 12-by-12 inches and 36-by-36 inches. Wall hangings need to have either a 3-inch sleeve, loops along the top or some other convenient way to hang them for display. But within those guidelines, entrants have near-total freedom: Entrees may be quilted or woven, cross-stitched or macrame, made of twigs or leather or paper.

Entry forms may be picked up at the museum or downloaded here: bit.ly/2W4JVO4.

During the Aug. 29 Bicentennial Bash, the entrees will be displayed in the windows of businesses all along Court Street. Members of the public may vote on their favorites from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Ten winners will be selected by the public and another ten will be selected by a panel of Callaway 200 judges. All 20 wall hangings will then be on display in the Callaway Bank window on Court Street until mid-September.

For more information, call the museum at 573-642-0570.

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