THE SPIRIT of the Ohio Valley has once again raised its cooperative head.
The Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing fell victim to tragedy recently. A broken waterline delivered widespread damage to the popular facility.
Several second-floor rooms — where the line broke — were flooded with water pouring through the ceiling into the office. The damage extended to the basement, where a slave cabin setting and more were affected.
Everything from ceiling tiles to historic records were either damaged or destroyed. Some priceless memorabilia suffered extensive damage.
Valley residents always rally around people in need, as was the case with museum director John Mattox. Much was needed to be done and in timely fashion.
Mattox’s help came in the form of dozens of volunteers who selflessly donated their time and ability to begin restoring the museum to its pre-soaking incident. Leading the restoration charge were a host of students students and officials from Olney Friends School in Barnesville.
The students donating their time boxing up books and artifacts, moving furniture and cleaning showcases. The adults did the heavy lifting such as an organ and cabinets, loading them into trucks to clear the way for museum repairs.
Olney’s volunteerism was shared throughout the area, which comes as no surprise.
Mattox said at least 55-60 people have called to volunteer in the wake of the leak. Bethany College, Oakview Juvenile Residential Center and Awakenings Women’s Residential Treatment Center all have offered help.
It will take time, but the Underground Railroad Museum is on track for restoration, thanks to the efforts of the Olney community and a host of generous people.
More help is needed. Anyone wishing to volunteer or to get more information about the Underground Railroad Museum, located at 121 E. High St., Flushing, call Mattox at 740-968-2080 or 740-968-6113.