If you’re looking for a place to put your money where your history is, look no more.
The Williamson Museum, housed in the historic limestone building on the Square in Georgetown that was once Farmers State Bank, is seeking more members.
Opened to the public in 2003, the museum is a non-profit corporation established in 1997 that today boasts of 16,000 donated artifacts.
Their total budget for Fiscal Year (Sept. to Oct.) 2018-19 was $550,000. However, the biggest misconception is that the museum is entirely county funded.
While the Commissioners Court budgets $237,000 annually for the museum, Director Mickie Ross says that the rest must be raised, including an additional $70,000 for staff salaries.
Although the four full-time and two part-time employees are considered county employees, the museum pays for the county’s portion of benefits, like health insurance and retirement.
The museum’s store and grants provide additional funds, as well as its summer camps, company matches, the Cattleman’s Ball (an annual fundraiser held every third weekend in October) and membership dues.
Yet membership is not growing as it should in our blossoming county. Ross can’t pinpoint the cause since visitors continue to increase to more than 18,000 a year and virtual visitors to its websites, newsletters and social media number more than 70,000.
Unfortunately, lack of funding is also impacting the Williamson Museum on the Chisholm Trail in Round Rock, as it will be closing this fall despite its popular community programs.