Fort Rock Museum awarded grant

Fort Rock Historical Museum was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Lake County Community Foundation, one of the two non-profits awarded grants this year by the Foundation.

Fort Rock Homestead Museum recently received the good news that it would receive a $2,500 grant from the Lake County Community Foundation (LCCF).

Jonie Bramlett, secretary of the Museum board, said the Museum applied for the grant in early July. When the board heard the Museum would be getting the grant she said, “We were happy as could be.”

This is the second time the Fort Rock Homestead Museum has received a grant from the LCCF, Bramlett said. The first time was approximately three years ago.

As with virtually every location open to the public, the Museum has faced some challenges due to COVID. Bramlett said that the original plan was for the Museum to reopen the first week of May. Instead, it was unable to open until May 21, meaning a three week period without any income.

Fortunately, the Museum saw a lot of attendance during Memorial Day weekend – the weekend it reopened. Labor Day was also pretty busy, Bramlett said.

But funding a museum can be challenging during the best times, and COVID had a negative impact on the location financially.

That combined with the minimum wage increasing in July has meant the museum is not always bringing in enough money to pay the wages of its host, Annie McClung. Bramlett explained that the Museum will be using its $2,500 grant to pay McClung’s wages. The host is the Museum’s only paid position, she said.

Having the host position staffed is important, Bramlett said, because the Museum board members, who are volunteers, have to fill in when there is no host.

“We’re very pleased we were able to get the funding,” she said, adding, “It will help a lot and help keep us open.”

In a typical year, the Fort Rock Homestead Museum gets visitors from all over, Bramlett said, including international locations.

The Museum is currently only accepting cash for admissions, as the board was not happy with the costs associated with accepting credit and debit cards, Bramlett said. The Museum is working on coming up with a different system to accept those forms of payment when it reopens after the current season.

The Fort Rock Homestead Museum is located at 64696 Fort Rock Rd. in Fort Rock and is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The museum will be open for the season through Sunday, Sept. 27. Call 541-576-2251 for more information.

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