Voting for the 2022 Best Places in Local Government (aka the #ELGLKnope) Round of 32 opens on March 7, 2022 and closes at midnight PT on Friday, March 11, 2022. One vote per person. Learn more about this award online.
Morton Museum of Collierville History
Collierville, Tennessee 38017
- Year(s)/Era: 1873
- Type of Place: Building
- Nomination: The Morton Museum of Collierville History collects, preserves, and interprets Collierville’s dynamic history to make the past tangible, relevant, and meaningful for today’s diverse community and for generations to come. In addition to it being a home for history, the building itself is also historical. It was originally a church built in 1873 as part of reconstruction following the Civil War. The building served as a church until 1992. It was briefly a restaurant and then donated to the Town of Collierville in 2008.After almost 4 years of fundraising and volunteerism by Collierville Residents, the Museum opened in June 2012. The Museum offers a permanent exhibition space, temporary exhibitions, a community art gallery, reading room, and event rentals. Extensive renovations to the building have transformed it into a vibrant community asset. This year, the Morton Museum of Collierville History is celebrating 10 years as the Town Museum.
- Most notable attribute(s): This historic landmark was built as a one-story frame vernacular Gothic Revival with a two-story corner tower and steeple. The tower housed the largest bell in the county, Shelby County which includes Memphis, weighing 800 pounds. While the building has been through extensive, multiple renovations, there was extreme care taken to preserve the original, stunning assets of the building including the arch-shaped stained glass windows now reflected in the Morton Museum’s logo. With all the beauty aside, Museum entry, programming, workshops, events, and exhibits are always free, and the Museum works to make content and exhibits accessible to all. They strive to include all members of our community in our exhibits and archives and staff is committed to education and programming that works toward a just and equitable community for everyone.
- Special designations or recognitions: Yes, the Morton Museum regularly receives recognition from the Tennessee Association of Museums including multiple Awards of Excellence, the most prestigious award presented. In 2014, the Museum won this award for their online catalog and the special event “Come Feel the Heat on Collierville’s Town Square.” They also received the 2014 Award of Commendation for Superlative Achievement for the educational program “Battle of Collierville 150: Perspectives on the Civil War in Tennessee.” The 2015 Awards of Excellence were given to the Museum for Collierville Dairy Day, the Morton Museum Veteran History Project and for volunteer, Michele Hyduke’s, dedication to the Museum. The Beverly Morton McCormack Memorial Garden Dedication and Flower Shower won the 2015 Award of Commendation. The 2016 Awards of Excellence were given to the Museum for the temporary exhibition “Baseball! Celebrating a Community Pastime,” the publication “Morton Museum’s Fall 2015 Educator Guide,” the PR kit for Collierville Dairy Day 2015, the educational programming series: Lunch n’ Learn, the research project “Continuing the Conversation, Uncovering Black History in Collierville,” and outstanding volunteerism recognizing St. George’s Independent School volunteers. The 2017 Awards of Excellence were given to the Morton Museum for Educational Programming (Kids Dairy Making Workshop), Temporary Exhibition (A Portrait of Collierville: 1940-1945), Special Event (Train Heritage Day), Special Recognition (Frisco 1351 Project) and Volunteerism (Bettina Ong-Halleron)In 2018, the Morton received two awards of Excellence; one in the Flat Paper Publication category for their 2017 Educator & Exhibition Guide, and one in Educational Programming for their Adult DIY summer workshops. They also received a Commendation in Temporary Exhibitions for their exhibit Making a Town: Collierville’s Railroad. Steve Cole, a regular volunteer at the Morton Museum, received an award of Excellence in Volunteerism. In 2019, the Morton received Awards of Excellence in Temporary Exhibits for How it Works: Collierville’s Public Works; in Special Events for Stories of Service; in Educational Programming for teen Art of Paper workshop, and in Volunteerism for volunteer Mike Ellicott’s contributions. The pandemic has halted the awards for now, but we expect them to continue to gain them in the coming years!
- Three words to describe: Beautiful, Educational, Accessible
- Anything else to share? The Morton Museum of Collierville History is a priceless asset to Collierville because of its mission to preserve history and educate the public, while being a unique representation of Collierville community history.
Town of Collierville, Tennessee
Collierville, Tennessee 38017