Franklin Countys First News

Western Maine Play Museum update

WILTON - This has been an exciting fundraising summer for Western Maine Play Museum.

The August Mystery Dinner included a tour through the museum for participants, and raised $1200. Guests and hosts included some long-time museum supporters, and welcomed some new museum friends as well. Everyone enjoyed the dinners and entertainment, and all are hoping the museum will have another similar event next year.

The hard work of the museum grant writers finally hit the jackpot this summer. From May through August, the museum has won $350,000, from a state facade grant and Northern Border Regional Commission grant. With these grants, the museum has managed to raise almost its entire $700K reconstruction goal. This exciting news has led everyone, including the museum board, to believe the museum will be open any day now. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

With grants of this size comes an enormous amount of paperwork, with very specific rules and regulations. These details need to be completed with absolute accuracy according to the requirements of the grants, so that the monetary awards are not jeopardized. The museum board is busy, working closely with the Town of Wilton, to ensure that everything is done correctly. So getting back to the business of finishing the museum building has hit some roadblocks that won't be resolved until fall.

Don't be discouraged! The great news is that we have the money necessary to finish the entire project, and we can now start to make plans for opening. Our design committee is reconvening to work out the details on exhibits and we're starting to think about hiring and what that will look like. Until very recently, opening to the public was a dream without a date. Now we know that we'll be opening next year and Western Maine will finally have its own children's museum.

Stay tuned for our updates and upcoming events.

For more information about donating, purchasing naming rights to one of the rooms still remaining, and other ways you can help, check out the museum website: Or contact board vice-president Lori Lewis 645-3945, Western Maine Play Museum is a registered non-profit with 501(c)(3) status. All donations are tax-deductible and gratefully received.

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2 Responses »

  1. Going by every day I noticed that a new roof is badly needed .

  2. All of the roof is sound but it does need some cosmetic work -- particularly on the metal barn roof. Don't worry! We're getting there!