The City of Portland is one step closer to having a museum designated for the history of Portland and the surrounding area with the donation of property at 205 South Broadway by Larry Collins.
The council voted unanimously on first reading to accept the donation at the Oct. 21 meeting. The building was originally known as Dan’s Furniture and was built in 1965 with an addition added later.
According to Mayor Mike Callis, Vice-Mayor John Kerley has led the charge for a museum for some time, serving as chairman of the Museum Committee which was organized over a year ago.
Kerley said, “As chairman of the committee, I want to thank past Mayor (Ken) Wilber and our current Mayor (Mike) Callis for their willingness to support the creation of a History Museum for Portland. By giving the old Dan Furniture building to the city, Larry Collins and his family have provided a building that I believe, will become a museum of Portland’s history that every citizen will be proud of.
“Because an ordinance is required for all property transfers to the city, the council will need to take a final vote to make this long-term dream, that has been dreamed by so many, a reality. Of course, this is just the first step down a long road, but it is exciting to think that Portland will one day be able to preserve and protect its rich history.”
The committee had looked at several properties for a museum but had not found anything with storage which stopped all efforts. The committee wants a museum that displays approximately 25 percent of its holdings and stores the rest. Displays would be changed from time to time to keep people coming back to the museum.
Kerley added, “In the coming days the museum committee will be seeking help from the city and private sector with making a list of everything that will be done to turn our chuck of coal into a diamond. We are so fortunate to have so many people in our community that possess a vast range of experience with the operation of a museum.”
City Historian Nathan Shadowens said, “The generosity of the Collins family is overwhelming. This building will make a wonderful museum. I anticipate it being a great place to learn about Portland’s history.”