Smoot Will Lead Effort to Build New Chippewa Falls Museum
Chippewa Valley history expert extraordinaire – and former Volume One columnist – Frank Smoot has a new job with the Chippewa County Historical Society, helping the group pursue plans for a new museum. Smoot took the job as museum developer in August, departing as Dunn County Historical Society director after three years. During his time in Menomonie, Smoot helped the Dunn County Historical Society open a new museum wing and revamp half its exhibits. Previously, he had spent two and a half years in Oregon, where he oversaw the opening of the Coos History Museum, as well as 14 years at the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire.
“The people in Chippewa knew that I had led a multi-year project building a brand-new museum from the ground up out in Oregon,” Smoot said in a media release. “And having a good transition is so important to them that they’ve committed society money – not money from the capital campaign – to making sure the Allen Street collection is organized and ready to reboot in its new location.”
The Chippewa County Historical Society is in the midst of raising funds to build a new museum on Bridgewater Avenue near the entrance of Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls; the society’s museum is currently on Allen Street on the city’s East Hill. At the Dunn County Historical Society, Smoot was replaced by Melissa Kneeland, who was the society’s former assistant director.