By ALVIN REINER
---- — WESTPORT — The Inn on the Library Lawn is historic, itself, but will soon offer even more of a look at the past.
Proprietors Alexandra and Anthony Wheeler are in the planning stages for the Westport Museum and Photo Gallery.
They intend for displays to be in place by May 2013 and are inviting people to contribute artifacts, images, pictures or historical information for possible inclusion.
“We have so many guests that ask about the history of Westport and especially about the buildings, such as how old are they and what they used to be. Guests also want to know about buildings that are no longer here,” Mrs. Wheeler said.
The museum will be located on the Main Street side of The Inn, with sidewalk access through a door next to The Inn Cafe. The museum will be open to the public, free of charge, from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day from mid May until mid October.
There will be a museum website and Facebook page, as well, the Wheelers said.
The artifacts would be provided on loan and remain within the museum as long as it is in operation, the Wheelers said, and would be returned to the owner in the event the display were permanently closed. All donated items will be tagged with the name of the contributor.
Space is limited, so the Wheelers expect they may not be able to use everything available.
For those who have relevant photographs or historical documents that they don’t want to share on extended loan, the Wheelers are happy to scan the items and then return the originals.
“We are trying to mix the history of what has been here with the present to give people a more complete story about the community,” Mrs. Wheeler said. “It’s kind of depressing that a lot of history has been lost.
”We will try to be as factual as we can.”
Since taking ownership of The Inn, the first section of which was constructed in 1855, the Wheelers have made a concerted effort to retain the ambiance of the 1800s. All of the rooms have been renovated with a Victorian flavor that includes four-poster beds with canopies. The 11 rooms, named for such authors as Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust and James Fenimore Cooper, complement the bookstore and reading room on the first floor.
Other amenities include an ice-cream parlor.
The Wheelers also plan to include information about the area such as the Champlain Area Trail System trails.
For more information or to contribute, contact the Wheelers at 335-1966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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