NV State Museum is back in business
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The Nevada State Museum in Carson City has resumed normal operations, and its staff wants people to know they are back in business.
"What you see is the barrel or tube that many believe is the actual cannon that was abandoned during the John C. Fremont expedition."
That's Jim Barmore, Director of the Nevada State Museum pointing to the legendary Fremont Cannon.
It's currently on display at the museum in Carson City and Barmore says resident college football fans should be very familiar with this Nevada icon.
"As you know the Fremont Cannon is very famous, it's not the REAL Fremont Cannon that you see during football games, the big rivalry, but this is the real thing here."
Patrons now have an opportunity to see the Fremont Cannon six days a week.
In 2009, the museum budget was slashed by 45 percent.
The reduction caused the museum to lose ten people and the remaining 90 staff members were reduced from full time to part time work when the museum hours were diminished from six days a week to just four.
"Unfortunately my office overlooked the parking lot where I'd see people walk up and they wouldn't see the closed sign until they got up there, and I'd just watch the body language and they were so disappointed. And I don't have to do that anymore."
Peter Barton, administrator for the Division of Museums and History in Nevada, credits the financial breathe of life to Governor Brian Sandoval's new budget which took effect on July first.
"He is a very serious historian of Nevada. So he made a commitment to us that he would do everything in his power to restore museums as quickly as he could as the budget situation began to improve."
Barton says the funding increase could not have come at a better time as Nevada gears up to celebrate its 150th birthday later this year.
"Museums are obviously central to understanding Nevada's history, so we needed to get ourselves back open lest we say come to Nevada's birthday party, but don't come on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday because we're closed."
In preparation for the October festivities, museum administrators are busy preparing exhibitions honoring historic figures like explorer John C. Fremont, who led the first official expedition to the Great Basin and the territory that would later become the state of Nevada.
These displays and Nevada relics such as the Fremont Cannon can now be seen six days a week.
*Correction: The museum is now open every day but Monday.