Jefferson, Georgia-–The City of Jefferson and the Crawford W. Long Museum Association, Inc., have announced the upcoming grand re-opening of the Crawford W. Long Museum to celebrate the completion of a two-year restoration of the facility’s three, interconnected buildings. The museum will open January 9, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The museum has been closed to the public for major structural renovations and exhibit upgrades since June 2008. The renovations were paid for in part through a matching $200,000 USDA Rural Development grant.
Historic Building Restoration
The two-story, brick 1880s former doctor’s office and pharmacy used as a medical exhibits gallery, received a new roof, including larger scuppers and downspouts, restored brick work and custom windows that are exact copies of the originals which were beyond repair. The project included Interior re-plastering, painting, rewriting, updated lighting, and new upstairs flooring.
Exterior Structural Brickwork
The 1850′s Pendergrass General store building was jacked up, leveled, received new masonry piers and a new coat of paint. The interior of the re-created 1840s doctor’s office in the rear of the store was repainted and refurbished.
Craftsman Frank Resciniti at Work in Doctor's Office (Athens Banner-Herald Photo)
The smaller Stoval Building, used as the museum entrance, reception area and exhibit gallery received a new exterior sign and new interior painting.
Updated Museum Exhibits
Since the interior of the Stovall and Medical Gallery buildings had to be cleared for the restoration work, project manager Lesa Campbell and administrative manager Vicki Starnes had an opportunity to modernize the interpretive exhibits in accordance with current museum best practices.
The Crawford Long Gallery has colorful new informational panels (see detail below)
and artifact displays tracing Doctor Long’s heritage, medical practice, family life and his 1842 discovery of the use of ether for painless surgery.
“A lot of the Crawford Long exhibit tries to put him in his time and place,” said Campbell. “If you don’t understand the fact that Jefferson was a frontier town in 1842, you really don’t get the full measure of how amazing it was that someone here was the first person to apply anesthesia to a patient and be able to revive them.”
The upstairs–which had previously been closed to the public–now contains a new history exhibit that traces the evolution of anesthesia from the early use of towels, sponges and drop masks to the development of machines that measure, control and monitor a uniform concentration of anesthetic gases. Fourteen machines, in use between 1913 and 1970, are be on display.
The General store displays have been reorganized with new artifacts, displays and signage.
“Jefferson is privileged to be the home of such an important international event,” said Mayor Jim Joiner. “The development of a practical surgical anesthetic is considered America’s greatest contribution to modern medicine, so it is only fitting that Jefferson maintain a museum to commemorate Dr. Long’s discovery.”
The Crawford W. Long Museum was founded in 1957 by the Georgia Historical Commission and in 1974 the Crawford W. Long Museum Association assumed ownership. In 1979 the Museum building and exhibits were renovated, accomplished partly through contributions from the members of the Medical Association of Georgia and the Georgia Society of Anesthesiologists.
In 1986-87, an expansion program was carried out, enlarging the Museum into a three-building complex. This complex was owned and operated by the not-for-profit Association until ownership was transferred to the City of Jefferson in 2007.
Detail from a New Exhibit Panel
Admission to the Museum is $5.00 for adults and $4.00 for children (6-12) and $3.00 for students/military. Children 5 and under free. Beginning January 9, the museum will be open to the public during normal operating hours of Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. For more information about the grand opening, contact the museum at 706-367-5307.