Many feared the museum -- which saw 14,000 visitors last year to its location on
That agreement left the museum
"We felt confident that there were enough people who loved the museum to get it funded," Duncan said. "Instead of having one leg to stand on -- the county -- it's a three-legged stool with the county, the town and private citizens."
Fundraising was a nerve-wracking process, Duncan said. A week ahead of the self-imposed
Duncan said one "silver lining" of the museum's funding ordeal is that it brought local residents and groups together and gave everyone a greater sense of ownership over a community resource like the museum.
"Folks from all across the community did unify. The town government and county love an opportunity to point fingers, but this was an opportunity to get them to come together, and they did," Duncan said.
"Small towns have turf -- 'This is my project, these are my donors,' " Duncan said. "There's teams and there's groups and there's separation, and a lot for those lines and walls fell away for the museum."
Looking to the future, Duncan says he's hoping to see a series of smaller, more practical ways to raise money for the museum -- things such as fundraiser cocktail dinner events, grants and a nominal entry fee for the museum.
"Nothing is for certain, but it's certain it's going to be there if we're going to keep making an effort," Duncan said.
Murphy can be reached by phone at 757-247-4760.
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