For small children, museums can be stuffy. Boring. A place where everything is off limits.
The newest exhibit at the Baldwin County Heritage Museum is full of hand-crafted, wooden toys. And nearly all of them are prepped and ready for playtime.
“The kids come in here and have a great time playing with them,” said museum director Tammy Kinney.
Kinney and her staff were cleaning out a storage area in the museum when they stumbled upon the stash of toys. When the toys were packed away nearly 30 years ago, staff members then made no record of the items.
Kinney said opening the boxes was a bit like Christmas morning. There were toys everywhere. And, toy pieces. The staff spent several days unraveling the puzzle of how to put together each intricately carved toy. There were no instructions included in the boxes.
A volunteer also repaired several of the toys that had been broken in storage.
Now, visitors can play with airplanes that spin, tops that turn and xylophones that pling. The toys, though they appear to harken from Colonial days, were crafted in the 1980s by Baldwin County resident Tom Stout.
The Baldwin County Heritage Museum is located at 25521 U.S. Highway 98 in Elberta. It is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.