Shook Museum is a valuable addition to county
Joseph Hall is leaving a valuable legacy
Clyde celebrated an historic moment Monday when
the Shook Museum at the Shook-Smathers house was officially dedicated.
The house has been a labor of love for Shook
descendent Joseph Hall, who has spent about a half a million dollars
meticulously restoring it. The structure was in near ruins when he started
the project several years ago. Now restored to its former splendor, the
house, along with a visitor center built to complement the original
structure and sell museum memorabilia, is a Clyde landmark.
The history of the home comes alive during the
tours provided by trained docents. Visitors can see where various
wallcoverings were once used in the rooms ó from wallpaper to sheetrock to
paneling. Also preserved under plexi-glass are the imprints from an original
stairway, floor joists and other elements once in the house.
The square nails thought to be crafted by
builder Jacob Shook are clearly visible in the original section of the home.
This part of the home was described as three stories where the top story was
used as a chapel. The earliest mention found about the house was in 1810
when early Methodist leader Francis Asbury spoke of it in his journals.
The expanded version of the home now visible
from the outside was added in later years when rooms and porches were built
around the original structure. The Shook-Smathers house is one of the oldest
frame buildings in the county still standing.
Thanks to Hall, the home not only is still
standing, but holds a place of honor in Clyde.
It was fitting that the Town of Clyde made Hall
an honorary citizen, gave him a key to their town and honored him during the
museumís recent dedication. Hallís gift to the community and his dedication
to preserving a structure with roots that run deep and rich in the countyís
history will long be remembered. Earlier, Hall invited town leaders to
partner with him and use the visitors center to welcome folks to Clyde. The
aldermen indicated they werenít interested. Perhaps now that the project is
complete, the town leaders will recognize what a jewel they have in their
town and reconsider the offer. And, hopefully Hallís offer is still