Sheerar Museum: preserving Stillwater’s History for over 40 years

The Sheerar Museum's collection storage room before the upgrade project during the Summer of 2015.

by Ammie Bryant, Sheerar Museum Director

The Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History begins its 42nd year of service to the community in 2016.  Dedicated to collecting, preserving, and presenting Stillwater’s unique history and rich culture, the Museum features exhibits focused on Stillwater from its founding to the present.

As a non-profit, the Sheerar Museum relies on donations from Associates, contributors, sponsors, and volunteers to remain open free to the public as well as to produce quality programs and exhibits throughout the year.  Annual donations given by Museum Associates, grants, and fundraisers are responsible for much of the Sheerar Museum’s operating budget.  Donated funds invested by Associates and contributors pay for the Sheerar Museum and Cultural Center’s utilities, phone service, office supplies, and staff salaries in addition to the costs to maintain and care for the collection.  Contributions pay for new exhibits and educational programming as well.

In 2015, the Sheerar Museum accomplished several goals through donations and other forms of public support. Highlights from the past year include the annual award-winning education program “How Oklahoma Began,” the ninth season of the Cool Classics Summer Concert Series, and opening the new exhibit “Stories Unfolding: A 30th Anniversary Celebration.” This exhibit looks at the history of Stillwater’s sister-city relationship with Kameoka, Japan and is a result of a partnership with the Stillwater Sister Cities Council.  The Museum also made improvements in its care of collections with upgrades for two of the Museum’s onsite collections storage areas. Finally, the Museum was able to repair and replace the damaged north steps of the historic Sheerar Cultural and Heritage Center.  All of this was made possible through the support of our Associates, contributors, and other organizations in our community.

The 50,000 + items within the museum collection are gifts as well.  The purpose of a museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret material cultural and without the many artifacts and archives given during the last 41 years, the Sheerar Museum would not be able to fulfill its purpose.  Without many gifts of time, artifacts, and funds the Sheerar Museum and Cultural Center could not offer the Stillwater Community educational programming and exhibits as well as the preservation and interpretation of its history.

As the Sheerar Museum enters a new year, the Staff and the Stillwater Museum Association Board of Trustees wish to thank its many supporters. From the volunteers to the individuals and families who have given their heirlooms and collections to the Sheerar Museum to the Associates and Corporate Sponsors as well as the City of Stillwater who support the museum through monetary donations, memorials, contributions, and grants on an annual basis.  Thank you for the myriad ways that you have given to the Sheerar Museum and Cultural Center through the years, in doing so you have given much to the Stillwater Community, to preserve its history for the enrichment of its future.

To learn more about how you can support the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History, please visit the Museum at 702 S. Duncan or call the Museum Office at 405-377-0359.    Open free to the public, Tuesday through Friday 11am-5pm and Saturdays and Sundays, 1pm-4pm, the Sheerar Museum is administered by the Stillwater Museum Association, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.