Museum to Bring WWII to Life

Join living history actors at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 15 at Old Independence Regional Museum, as they go back in time to World War II on the home front. Long time Batesville resident and museum volunteer Ann Rhodes will discuss her memories of Batesville during WWII, how the war impacted everyday life, and the responsibility of people still on the home front.

The living history program will feature museum volunteers Lilly Guth, Melody Fitterling, Greta McCann, Bekah Paxson, and Bertha Hughes portraying the roles women played on the home front during World War II, including scrap collectors, gardeners, and mothers and wives of soldiers. “Women played an important part in the war effort,” explained program organizer Kay Longenbach, “whether it was collecting scrap, saving rubber bands, growing victory gardens, making bandages, or knitting socks, women did whatever they could to help support troops fighting overseas.” The effort on the home front was vital to the success of the war. The sacrifices made by families at home allowed soldiers abroad to get the supplies they needed to successfully fight Axis powers. “We are very fortunate to have members of the community that still remember what life was like during the war,” stated museum director Amelia Bowman, “ having access to those memories is a great asset to the museum and future generations.” Visitors will be encouraged to share their memories of World War II following the program.

The program will be free and open to the public. Normal museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children. The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.

Old Independence is a regional museum serving a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff. Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820’s Arkansas territory.