It took some logistical planning when 140 youngsters showed up to participate in Kentucky Day activities Thursday at the Woody Winfree Fire-Transportation Museum downtown.

"It's been a fun challenge," said Kathleen Carter, education coordinator for the Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County, of the struggle to accommodate that many youth in the museum adjacent to the Pennyroyal Area Museum that continues to undergo renovations.

Officials opened up the transportation museum's doors and found places amongst its three carriages, two fire trucks, its Model T Ford, Buick and, oh yes, the Mogul Wagon on display at the museum, where the youngsters could sit and take part in that program's activities.

Kentucky Day focused on the likes of famed clairvoyant and Christian County native Edgar Cayce and the Hoptown Hoppers baseball team, and examined the effects of the Civil War on the community.

It is among several activities the museums are hosting for local youth this summer, in addition to programming planned for the general public, i.e., events like the ongoing History on Tap series at the Hopkinsville Brewing Co. and walking tours scheduled in downtown Hopkinsville.

"We're up to our ears in the remodeling at the Pennyroyal Area Museum," noted Alissa Keller, the museums' executive director, of the work that prompted that facility to close its doors.

The Pennyroyal museum is expected to reopen early next year, but officials in the meantime have planned events to "keep the local history in everybody's minds," Keller said.

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"Just because we're closed in one place, we're keeping the interest going in another," she said. "We are working really hard to make sure we are still meeting our mission."

Now located temporarily in the transportation museum just across the street from the Pennyroyal on Ninth Street, the Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County are offering a variety of activities for youth and adults, and folks who are interested may call 270-887-4270 for more information, or log onto the museums' website at museumsofhopkinsville.org.

Keller said she recently gave a presentation on Cayce, who was born in the small south Christian County community of Beverly, and she plans to offer a "part two" on the topic.

Additionally, Hopkinsville-Christian County historian William T. Turner will be speaking about landmark fires in the community during the next History on Tap slated for 6:30 p.m. June 27 upstairs at Hopkinsville Brewing Co. downtown; the brewery sessions take place each fourth Thursday.

For youth, the first of a series of summer programs slated for Wednesday will focus on the Trail of Tears and how the trail, which saw the forced relocation of Native Americans from their homes in the mid-1800s, is significant to Hopkinsville.

Carter said youth taking part in that program will make pinch pots, similar to clay pots Native Americans would have owned.

Additionally, a second program in that series will share information about a "local notable," physicist Benjamin Bradshaw, who assisted with the construction of the atomic bomb during World War II. That free program is slated for 1 p.m. June 19 at the transportation museum.

Other programs will feature an architecture tour and scavenger hunt in Hopkinsville and the Little Green Men of Kelly, who reportedly once visited that community in north Christian County.

Carter said the once-weekly programs are free, although she encourages participants to sign up at the museums' website. She noted that the summer programs are something new and a feature of the museums that she'd like to continue with the re-opening of the Pennyroyal Area Museum early next year in its location that was once the community's post office.

"I hope to continue to have programs like this once we're open," said Carter, who just began her new job as the museums' education coordinator in April. "This is new. This is the first time this summer something's been offered like this. I'd like to expand what we're doing."

Keller noted that the museums are trying to incorporate local history with different stories and elements, and she said officials are trying to fulfill the museums' task of sharing that history.

"(We're) utilizing the Woody Winfree museum (and) public programming and social media to give folks an update on the history and the renovations," the director said.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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