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Thu, Nov. 21

Museum opens two new exhibits - plans 6,000-foot expansion

The Mohave Museum of History and Arts is becoming bigger and better with the opening of two exhibits this week and plans for a 6,000 square-foot expansion.

"In a time when all museums are pulling back, Kingman is growing and so are we," said museum director Shannon Rossiter.

"It is a positive move."

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new exhibits - the Wildlife Exhibit and the New Moon Mine Tunnel - will be held at 2 p.m.

Saturday.

The $500,000 expansion project will include a two-story addition to the south side of the museum.

The upper floor of the addition will house a library with Internet access.

The upper level will be used for storing artifacts, Rossiter said.

Approximately $300,000 has been set aside for the construction of the addition, and museum officials are negotiating with Betnor Construction, a Kingman company.

After the addition is built, another $200,000 will be spent on furnishings, shelves, map cases and computers, Rossiter said.

Groundbreaking for the addition will be around May 15.

It will take about three months to build, Rossiter said.

The two new exhibits were started several months ago, with individuals and groups donating time and effort to the projects, Rossiter said.

The New Moon Mine Tunnel exhibit was modeled and named after the once-active New Moon Mine in Mineral Park, where silver, copper, zinc and lead were mined.

Kingman resident Dorothy Smith and her mother, Goldie Briggs, inherited the New Moon Mine from an uncle and owned it from 1960 until 1976, when it was sold to Pat Patterson.

It was later sold to Duval Corp.

Although the mine, located on Duval property, has been inactive for some time, the head frame still stands today.

The center of the New Moon Mine Tunnel will be curved to allow a display of items historically found in mines, including mining equipment, lamps, artifacts and semi-precious stones - such as calcite and scheelite - which will show up under a black light.

There also will be a rattlesnake or two and some scorpions, along with a miner digging with a shovel.

The 34-foot mine tunnel runs alongside the building with entrances at either end and is covered with mock rock at both the entrance and exit.

During the summer there will be a tank at the end of the tunnel where children can pan for gold.

The Wildlife Exhibit is a 14-foot by 22-foot "environment room" - a decaying miner's cabin inhabited by 20 or more animals donated by local residents.

The Mohave Museum of History and Arts was founded in 1960 to preserve the unique history of Mohave County.

For the past 40 years the museum has become a research tool for families, historians, businesses and educational facilities around the world.

Located at 400 W.

Beale St., across from Metcalfe Park, the museum features 12,000 square feet of historical displays, dioramas and outdoor exhibits that take visitors back to the days of the "old west."

The Mohave Museum of History and Arts is open from 9 a.m.

to 5 p.m.

Monday through Friday and from 1 p.m.

to 5 p.m.

on weekends.

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