GREENE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) — Every piece in the Greene County Museum has a story. From supposedly haunted hotel furniture to photos of the family with 23 children and the forestry tools that helped establish the county.

Now, museum volunteers are working to bring those stories to life for the modern age. 

“Hopefully, in the coming months, you’ll be able to do a self-guided tour, because we’re totally reorganizing. We’re trying to color code and have more of a flow,” said volunteer Cheryl LaRue.

Audio narrations of some of the major eras and pieces in the museum, along with interactive exhibits, are planned. Historical society members are headed to the Mississippi Museum Conference next month where they will be mentored by another museum and staff at the state archives to carry out their vision.

The oldest displays in the museum, arrowheads and artifacts from the native Chickasaw and Choctaw nations, date back to 800 B.C.

LaRue came to the museum a few months ago in search of historical information on her house. She found a report from when the Works Progress Administration detailed some of the history of the home and the land it sits on- former Chickasaw territory- after interviewing locals during the Great Depression.

Metal cell bars still line the walls of the museum once housing the county jail. True crime stories abound from newspaper clippings to filing cabinets of old courthouse records.

“You could just spend the whole day looking through those. You’ll find some really interesting things and go down the rabbit hole,” said LaRue.

Volunteers Cheryl Keys and Laverne Bates have greeted visitors from as far away as New York and Wisconsin, many while tracking down their family history. The volunteers are working to digitalize the thousands of court, genealogical, land and tax records housed at the museum.

Other exhibits include historic agricultural and kitchen equipment like spinning wheels and century-old cookbooks. A sports area highlights the famous athletes born in the county like World Series champion and former U.S. Representative Wilmer Mizell.

Creations and narratives from the Basila factory and local artists help showcase the timeline of land use and industry.

Military medals and photos detail the role of the county in the nation’s wars, including the 1864 Battle of McLeod’s Mill where a handful of Civil War soldiers were killed in Leakesville.

Recent additions to the museum also include a monthly exhibit rotation. The August display is on the history of schools and education in Greene County. It includes 20th-century school desks and textbooks, photographs of former school buildings, and profiles of notable educators like Pat Harrison. He taught in Leakesville before eventually becoming President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate and an architect of the Social Security system.

The museum is always open to donations of items with historic relevance to Greene County. It’s currently open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays on the fourth floor of the Greene County Courthouse, 400 Main Street, Leakesville.

Anyone can volunteer with the historical society. They meet on the second Monday of each month at 10 a.m. and can be reached at 601-394-4343 or gcmuseum1811@gmail.com.