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Kentucky Gateway Museum Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center educates visitors by offering dynamic collections, exhibits, and a genealogical-historical library. Our Genealogical & Historical Research Library sheds light on the people and events of a seven-county area through an extensive collection of books, manuscripts and documents from the past 300 years. Our Regional History Museum illuminates the past through award-winning dioramas, more than 4,000 regional artifacts and a gallery of fine art related to Maysville and Kentucky. And our Kathleen Savage Browning Miniatures Collection looks at the world from a new perspective through mesmerizing, 1/12-scale reproductions of homes, furnishings, clothing, artwork and people.

Results: Visitors from thirty-nine (39) states, the District of Columbia, and seven (7) foreign countries during 2009, not including off-site programming or the 70+ volunteers who regularly assisted us throughout the year.

Target demographics: Initially the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center served only Mason County; it has now expanded to include Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, and Robertson counties in Kentucky and Brown and Adams counties in Ohio. Furthermore, because of its extensive research library, the Museum Center attracts visitors in many fields. Genealogists from throughout the United States use the facility. University doctoral candidates come to do thesis work. Property owners learn about old structures, as do archaeologists making studies of structures to be demolished or rehabilitated. Attorneys seek help on lines of descent or lines of property, historical charters, and regulations. Journalists work on investigative questions. The Museum Centers’ collections have become a respected and valuable source of information for a myriad of users seeking information unavailable elsewhere.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 13,000 - 15,000 visitors

Geographic areas served: Bracken, Fleming, Mason, Robertson, Lewis Counties in Kentucky.  Brown and Adams Counties in Ohio.

Programs: Initially the Museum Center served only Mason County; it has now expanded to include Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, and Robertson counties in Kentucky and Brown and Adams counties in Ohio. Furthermore, because of its extensive research library, the Museum Center attracts visitors in many fields. Genealogists from throughout the United States use the facility. University doctoral candidates come to do thesis work. Property owners learn about old structures, as do archaeologists making studies of structures to be demolished or rehabilitated. Attorneys seek help on lines of descent or lines of property, historical charters, and regulations. Journalists work on investigative questions. The Museum Centers’ collections have become a respected and valuable source of information for a myriad of users seeking information unavailable elsewhere. The permanent and changing exhibits and programs which the Museum Center houses and offers at other locations provide not only educational experiences but an opportunity to view artifacts that otherwise might never be seen first hand. Some of these are historical, some are based on current events, trends in the ever-changing social and political spectra, and some are art forms of all kinds that offer a forum for individuals to share talents and interests. School children are able to see and touch artifacts that help explain history, particularly that of our locale, and make it more vivid. Teachers in the area use the Museum Center in different ways to help enrich their classes’ curricula. The “suitcase” portable traveling collection, a miniature museum, has been put together and used successfully at several schools. Museum Scout classes have been held for fourth graders to familiarize them with the Museum Center, to show them how a museum and research center functions and to explain how different types of art are created. Generous nineteenth and twentieth century Mason Countians, whose vision and contributions established and maintained an association to promote the educational and cultural opportunities for area citizens, have enriched our community. This commitment was renewed recently with the construction of a new addition, which allows for enhanced exhibits, workshops, programs and educational opportunities for children and adults.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Kentucky Gateway Museum Center is a jewel in Northern Kentucky. It is the home to one of the largest collections of miniatures in the United States, The KSB Miniatures collection is world renown in the miniatures world. In addition, KGMC is home to a historical gallery that displays the early history of the local area. The library contains family history and information that is used by many researchers.

This is the place to see in the Maysville area.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The museum is a treasure to Maysville and the surrounding communities. The dinosaur exhibit is fabulous! The miniature collection is one of the finest in the world. Stop in and visit the museum - you will not be disappointed.

Previous Stories
9

Board Member

Rating: 5

This museum snuggled in the downtown area of Maysville, Kentucky is a treasure to all who visit. The miniature collection, one of the finest in the world, is breathtaking. No matter how many times I visit the collection, I always find an item I have overlooked. The museum boasts an overall collection that is outstanding. I love it - it is my passion! Come and share the excitement as it continues to grow.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed the museum/library when it was housed only in the original old library building. My father instilled a respect for and interest in history and a great-great aunt inspired me to do research on the family. My father would drop me off and I'd spend the entire day (until closing) doing research, looking at exhibits and learning about my community's past. The staff were the best and treated me (a child) with as much respect as any other person who was there doing research. They looked out for me as well. They'd ask what I was researching and while away from my table I'd be pleasantly surprised to find a book or file left for me to review. They also connected me with others doing research on my family. It has been years since I visited the museum but I remember those days fondly. They were very much an influence on my future as I obtained a Masters in Library Science and have worked in a major urban library in Ohio for over 20 years now and am currently the Genealogy Subject Specialist for this library. I very much enjoy helping others pursue their interests in genealogical and historical research and hope that I inspire others as much as I was during my visits there. I wish to say thank you for such a wonderful experience and am proud to see how you've grown and continue to help and inspire others. Thanks, Russ Pollitt

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been going to this museum since I was a child and the changes over the years have been phenomenal. It's a great place and for a town the size of Maysville, it's a real gem.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have found the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center to be a superb facility and history center for Kentucky. It's research library is top notch and they have a wealth of information. The employees are all very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. There are terrific changing exhibits and a world class miniatures exhibit. The Museum Scouts and other children's programs are a great educational experience for the young people. The whole museum is quite an asset and jewel for the area. Anyone who visits will have a truly great day. The Museum has many items and exhibits that rival museums in much larger cities in the world.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What a wonderful asset KGMC is for the community and the state of Kentucky. I have only been a member for a few years but have come to appreciate the museum and all it has to offer recently. There is a vast amount of research information available and the local historical artifacts is wonderful. The miniatures gallery is a gem all by itself!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Not sure why I got an email to write a review. I have only been to this museum 4 times---it should have only been three but no one could answer my questions or fax or email me the answer So I had to make a special trip. Also, I have been all over this country doing research and the prices they charge for pictures to use in publications is just outrageous. They wanted $100 to use a couple photos--I found them at a different historical society and was charged $20.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Tremendous museum! Comprehensive historical record, with fantastic ability to do research. Extensive archives. Fabulus facilities. Great day for the entire family!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to the museum to see the miniatures exhibit around Christmastime. Needless to say the collection blew me away and I could have stayed there a few days just to see the intricacies of each and every exhibit. THEN I was able to tour the rest of the museum which was equally as entertaining and amazing. Would go there again and again!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center is now one of the most important collectors of artifacts of our region. The Museum has offered educational shows for children and adults. It houses a miniture collection that rival none. Visitors are amazed at how the museum is layed out, what it houses, and the programs in which it offers the community to participate in. The children of this area are given more ooportunities to educational programs and rewards that the museum offers than any other place in the state. Programs ranging from Holloween stories for the children at the old courthouse, to parades, having the opportunity to visit world class exhibits like Children Like Us. The progams that are offered also entertain as well as educate. This community is just now beginning to realize what a gem we have here in Maysville, Kentucky. I am proud of the volunteer program that the museum utilizes withing the community, and the staff of tireless workers that seem to always pull together to complete a show or exhibit that the area truly enjoys.

4

Board Member

Rating: 4

Board member '64-'97; emeritus '97-'10. Museum administrator '75-'97; volunteer '97-'10. I did whatever needed doing, from cleaning to budget making, to managing.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have found the center staff to be energetic and professional in their dedication to preserving local historical documents, artifacts, images and genealogical records. It's clear from the service provided by this organization that public service and preservation of local culture is of paramount importance.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the years I have seen the museum educate and entertain all ages. The research library has been utilized by people from all over the world and the historic collections are being preserved using the best historical guidelines. The miniatures collection has been featured in journals from around the world and has been praised by experts and beginners alike. The Big Read program has exposed thousands to works by Poe and Wharton. The Museum Scout program has lasted long enough to see the first class of 4th graders graduate from highschool. The facility is used by various groups to hold functions.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center works very hard to make a difference in our community. Through its programming and exhibits we try to provide opportunities for all.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a local business owner (real estate broker and auctioneer), I consult with the museum staff and archives in order to obtain historical background information on historical properties that I have offered for sale/available for purchase in Mason County, KY whenever I list a property with historical significance. In 2009, I successfully sold two circa 1795 Mason County stone homes (which has to be rare as there are not that many stone homes within the county), both located in rural areas of the county (4.05 acres on Parker Lane at Mays Lick and 2.85 acre on Taylor Mill) and both situated on small acreage, both on the National Register of Historic Places (the Poague House Mays Lick and Milton Mills Taylor Mill Road, Maysville, were both added to the National Register Jan. 8, 1987), and I contacted the museum when researching some of the history of the properties for purposes of providing historical data to prospective purchasers, including those persons who ultimately purchased the properties (the purchasers were non-residents, one from Maryland, the other from Ohio). I have found the staff very helpful and accommodating. I also have donated my time to conduct charity auctions to benefit the museum (the Museum has a world class miniatures collection and I conducted an auction to benefit the museum in 2008, selling a miniature collection, and -- in addition to Kentucky and US bidders -- we had bidders/purchasers from several foreign countries including Switzerland, England, Japan, and Germany, and this was a "Live Auction", with these bidders actually present in the audience! I also conduct an auction on their behalf annually (March 5 will mark the fourth or fifth year of my involvement and I conducted two benefits auctions in 2008), volunteering my services as well as that of my staff, and I don't even live in Mason County, but in the adjoining county (that shows how much I appreciate the Museum as I am willing to travel outside of my county to support them!).

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I wrote the following descrpition of the museum in support of the fundraising and expansion project completed a few years ago and it still applies: "The Mason County Museum is an extraordinary institution for a city of our size. We use it as a parlor for our guests, a schoolroom for our children and an attic, where our most precious memories are stored. History, genealogy, culture and heritage all wrapped up in one fantastic place. The museum is a key to our past and - if we're smart -- a key to our future." That description was written prior to the arrival of the incredible Kaye Savage Browning Miniature exhibit. This is exhibit is worthy of display in the finest museums of the world, and we have it right here in Maysville.

4 mkaymiller

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a gift Kentucky Gateway Museum Center is for our community. I love to take visiting friends and family to learn a bit of our history and revel in our local arts. But most of the time, I just go alone - absorbing the culture that surrounds me at KGMC. I feel so blessed to be a member of the museum. It enriches my life.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kentucky Gateway Museum is a great museum. They have an outstanding miniatures display. They have ongoing interesting displays about many things. They have an excellent geneological research set-up. It is a five star place!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

I work for another historical society in the area and the only time we hear from KGMC is when they want something---just like this---our requests always go unanswered.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Ky. Gateway Museum has wonderful resources for genealogy research. The people working in that department were VERY helpful to me in finding information on my Mason County family.