When you walk into the Old Jail in Greenwood it is like stepping back in time. The original jail doors close to the present and locks you tightly into the past. Volunteers Emily Mitchusson and Sue Lewis who are also serve as curators are happy to share its wealth of history with the public. The museum solely runs on the grace of many volunteers.
The first thing that you notice is the large display dedicated to Judge Greenwood. Greenwood has had six courthouses. The first built in 1851 was a log cabin. They have a chair on display from the original courthouse. The second courthouse was a double log house with puncheon floors (split logs with one side smoothed). The third was a two story frame structure that was built in the center of the square in 1855 and destroyed by fire in 1880. The fourth courthouse was a red brick building. The museum features a piece of wrought iron from the fence. The fifth courthouse was built in 1915, which was destroyed by a tornado in 1968 and sat where our current courthouse is located, which was built in 1968. The display brings a sense of history to Greenwood and when school children come in they can see why the town was named Greenwood.
The pharmacy display features "patent" medicines, compounding medicines, and tools used by pharmacists. "Show Globes" were used to alert people of sickness and pharmacy locations until the mortar and pedestal became the accepted standard. Sue Lewis pointed out the Hamlin’s Wizard Oil in the pharmacy case. It was billed in its time as "The Greatest Family Remedy".
The Coal Mining Exhibit Room features many displays about Coal Mining in the region. The display features pictures, mining hats, and an old 1901 telephone switchboard. The switchboard was built by James Hawkins McConnell and served 30 families.
The exhibit features many coal mining items; perhaps the most impressive is Coal Chisel donated by Rick Hendrix from the "Sunshine Coal Mine" in Excelsior. Many photographs of miners can be seen on the walls and in display cases. Mary Anne Gamble, Cinda Bell, and Emily Mitchusson donated some items to the "Through the eyes of a child exhibit" showing what life was like as a child during the coal mining days.
The museum features a Greenwood Democrat display chronicling the paper’s long history with the town. The museum has several books featuring papers that date back to 1901. Lots of research can be completed in this room. The room is used by visitors who are interested in reading old newspapers and learning about the town’s vibrant history.
Outside, the Vineyard Cabin is decorated beautifully on the inside featuring decor as it would have looked back in the 1800’s. The Ole Barn is full of history related to farming. The Redwine School is a favorite among adults and children who visit.
Mitchusson states, "It is a wonderful place to bring children and adults to learn about Greenwood History." Sue Lewis says, "It takes a village! We have wonderful volunteers that make up our village." If interested in volunteering for the museum you can call Paula Resch at 479-996-4943.