Mayor hopes museum will bring new life to small town

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

BLACK OAK, AR (KAIT) - The City of Black Oak will soon start work to open a museum.

The town recently received a $15,000 rural services grant award.

"I mean, we're dead," Mayor Eddie Dunigan said about the town. "We've got a cotton gin and that's it."

He hopes adding the museum will generate more interest in the town.

The first thing they will do with the grant money is to paint a large mural on the donated brick building to generate interest in the town and museum project.

The mural will include pieces of the town's history including the rock band Black Oak Arkansas, the old elementary school and tomato canning factory, and author John Grisham, who lived in Black Oak as a young child.

"We'll get people coming simply to see the museum and hopefully when they start coming people will say, 'hey, if we had a little quick shop or something where somebody can get a bite to eat we'd have enough traffic in here that we can do it,' and maybe they'll get that started," Dunigan said. "And if we get that, maybe somebody will say a gift shop wouldn't be bad and hopefully we can put some life back into town."

Dunigan said he hopes to see the town restored to the busy place he remembers as a kid, with several shops and stores along Main Street.

Members of the band Black Rock Arkansas have already committed items to be featured in the museum.

The town has also held one auction and plans to hold another to sell antique items that are currently in the old building and raise money for the project.

Dunigan said he hopes to have the museum opened by December 2018.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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