The American Civil War Wax Museum in Gettysburg is undergoing a huge transformation, ready for when it will become known as the Gettysburg Heritage Center. To make way for new exhibits, many of the wax figurines – some of which have been in place for 50 years – will be sold at auction, along with antique furniture, clothing and other props used for the scenes.
To increase the appeal of the museum with younger visitors, the centre will be renamed Gettysburg Heritage Center. Exhibits will be created using technology, artefacts and “smart tables” so that visitors will be able to experience how it would have felt to live in Gettysburg before, during and in the aftermath of the battle. Effects will include the ground shaking as cannons boom.
Tammy Myers, the president of the centre, is hoping to appeal to more females by including details of the challenges faced in everyday life. Artefacts will include an antique church pew, signs filled with bullet holes and diaries.
According to Stephanie Lightner, the general manager of the centre, people are more likely to remember their experience at the museum than the artefacts. Although some long serving members of staff have reportedly found it difficult, they are adjusting to the changes.
Actors will still re-enact history outside the museum when it opens in April.
Antique furniture will be among the items sold at auction in March and is expected to create interest among collectors and theatre groups. Items like antique bookcases can create a realistic atmosphere of days gone by.
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