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Girl Scout museum looking to liquidate assets

Hazel Lodge said she didn’t realize how much she was getting into years ago when, along with Barbara Burns, she took over a small house on local church grounds in hopes to create a Girl Scout museum for people to enjoy.

Almost four years since closing the museum, Lodge said she is looking for help to sell, donate and return the items which at one time were displayed for all to appreciate.

“In the house was three to four feet of gravel on the floor, and the windows were boarded up, when we got it we had the gravel taken out,” Lodge said. “One of the lender’s fathers ran a lumber mill and they put in the lumber. Although he had a stroke and we had to find someone else to finish it. New windows were put in and the men were covered in black who helped downstairs. The walls were original and made of horse hair and mud. We put up new drywall and painted and it looked very pretty.”

Lodge said their intentions were to keep the building as original as possible. The walls were 12-14 inches thick, the stairs and doors were also restored and kept original.

“The house was a servants quarters and was built before the civil war,” Lodge said. “When we gave tours we included the history of the house and the Girl Scouts. In 1934, Girl Scout troop No. 1 started in Wilmore, and in 1937, another one started in Nicholasville. We had a picture of the ladies in that troop.”

Lodge said the museum did not pay rent for operating on church grounds, but signed a lease and was told they could do what they wanted as long as they didn’t tear the building down.

“We had a donation box for tours,” Lodge said. “They would pay $1 to $3 and it would include a patch. Our last tour was four to five years ago and was an old-fashioned game day. They played marbles and hula hoops. Troops from Versailles and Lexington and surrounding areas came.”

After 21 years, Lodge said members of the church decided not to renew the museum’s lease and Lodge and Burns were forced to move everything into storage.

“Vandals broke in three to four months ago and stole a lot of stuff,” Lodge said. “We have so much stuff it is hard to know what they took. A picture painted by one of the original leaders was stolen.”

With hopes of finding another building to rent not in the cards for the former owners because of expensive liability insurance, Lodge said the plan is to sell what they can, and contact those who have items on loan in order to return their belongings before anyone else can break into the storage facility. The money that once donated to the museum has gone in recent years to pay for the storage facility.

“The Girls Scout Council does have a room and may want some of the items,” Lodge said. “It is a hard thing to do. We are in the process of trying to figure it all out. We may have an antique auction at some point. People have been good to us. Lots of people have supported us.”