Museum bill goes to Foster

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – A bill authorizing the Secretary of State’s Office to operate a planned museum in Ferriday passed the Senate Thursday and has been sent to Gov. Mike Foster for his signature.

The Louisiana Delta Music Museum will be Louisiana’s eighth state-run museum and will cost the state about $117,000 a year to operate. It will feature memorabilia of northeast Louisiana natives in the music industry.

&uot;We’re very excited and ready to see the new museum up and running,&uot; said Judith Bingham, chairperson of the Ferriday Chamber of Comm-erce’s Museum Committee. &uot;We see it as an economic boost for this area and (see) endless possibilities for the recognition of this area of the state.&uot;

Bingham also thanked Secretary of State Fox McKeithen; Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday and sponsor of the bill; and area Sen. Noble Ellington, D-Winnsboro, for supporting the bill from the start.

A former post office building on Louisiana Avenue will serve as the museum’s location. Exhibits will now be moved from the town museum’s current site on North E.E. Wallace Boulevard, and a ramp will be installed at the new building to make it accessible to the disabled.

With the help of a $40,000 grant, crews have painted the old post office building, which would house the new regional museum. Crews have also restored the building’s hardwood floors.

As it now stands, the museum will have to be open by March, when Secretary of State Fox McKeithen plans to kick off a statewide &uot;Music Cavalcade&uot;&160;tour at the museum.

&uot;He’s planning a big kickoff, maybe with (Ferriday natives) Mickey Gilley and Jerry Lee Lewis performing,&uot;&160;said Deputy Secretary of State Doug Woolfolk. The first members of the museum’s Hall of Fame might also be inducted at that event.

&uot;We’re excited about this project,&uot;&160;Woolfolk said.