OIRM to Host Annual Spring Family Day
Celebrate Batesville’s bicentennial year with Old Independence Regional Museum at the annual Spring Family Day on Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Families are invited to participate in a variety of activities, crafts and demonstrations.
“After a year of dormancy, the staff is excited to welcome families back to the museum for Spring Family Day,” states Terri Crawford, Humanities Educator. “We are especially pleased to be celebrating 200 years of Batesville history.”
Visitors will enjoy watching a variety of demonstrations and trying their hand at some old-fashioned crafts and games.
Jessica Hogue, owner of a local Shetland sheep farm, Hackberry Farm, will demonstrate how to make yarn from sheep’s wool. Through the various stages of processing, Hogue will discuss how a raw fleece becomes beautifully colored yarn which can be used to create clothing.
Volunteers Clint and Amy Howard will be cooking corn meal mush over an open fire. While this may not sound like a favorite menu item today, it was a staple meal that served the pioneers well. Samples will be available to taste.
Wanda Mayhall, a master crafter who designs her own creations, will be crocheting inventive yarn dolls. These unique dolls are intricately detailed and demonstrate how a skill can also be art.
Local volunteers Ricky and Vicky Middleton will be returning with their popular manual hay press. Used to condense loose hay into small bales, this simple machine is fun to watch and even more fun to try!
Visitors may move through various other stations, including planting seeds, crafting historic toys, and playing old-fashioned games.
The museum and its exhibits will be open to the public free of charge during the Spring Family Day event. The gift shop will be open as well, with proceeds benefitting the general operations. (Masks are required inside the building.)
The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5.00 for adults and researchers, $3.00 for seniors, military and students, $2.00 for children 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.
This humanities program is made possible by local support from Independence County and the City of Batesville, as well as by Challenge Grant Endowment funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Old Independence serves 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 1820s Arkansas territory.
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
She has a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.