Dent County Museum, 400 North Pershing Avenue, preserves Salem and Dent County's history for future generations.

Built in 1895 on the then northern edge of town, the museum has beautiful, original woodwork and is furnished with period furniture and accessories throughout the 13 rooms on three floors.

Particularly interesting displays include a loom, vintage clothing, children's toys and clothing and a reproduction of the Liberty Bell. Also original to the property are several outbuildings, some housing antique equipment. Tall native oak trees surround the house, while flowers popular during the 19th century bloom in beds and pots.

The Dent County Historical Society and other interested persons helped make the museum, which opened May 30, 1976, a reality. The former home of the late William P. Elmer was purchased to be converted into a museum.

Elmer, an early-day lawyer, was the sole U.S. Congressman from Dent County.

Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Memberships are available for $10 per person per year or $100 per person lifetime.

The museum is run by a board of directors, headed by President Jo Ann Wells, Vice President James Coffman Jr., Secretary Marsha Odom, Treasurer Jean Capps, and members Ken Fiebelman, Chalmer Morris, Ken Brasier, Catherine Wynn and A.J. Seay.

Brochures about the museum and some of the collections are available at the Visitors Center on Highway 19 South.

The museum is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each Sunday from the last Sunday in May through the last Sunday in September. Other visits may be scheduled by appointment by calling Wells at 729-2703 or 729-2643.