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Cattaraugus County Museum Opens New Exhibit: ‘An Olio’ a Display of Historical Treasures

By Alicia Yeager

The Cattaraugus County Museum, which houses a great collection of historical treasures such as antique guns, Native American artifacts, wartime memorabilia and much more, has opened up a new exhibit. The exhibit, which is called “An Olio,” has been opened for a month now, and will be on displayed until April of 2014.

“An Olio” is a term for a “miscellaneous mixture or collection,” which is exactly what the exhibit is. The varied items of the showing include Japanese flight suits, a lock from Newgate Prison, a voting machine from 1934, two high-wheeled old-fashioned bicycles, and a spittoon from the old Board of Supervisors building, among other large artifacts that rarely fit into other exhibits.

Brian McClellan, the museum curator, decided to pull various items to put together in one exhibit. The items within “An Olio” do not fit within other exhibits, yet with this new showing, people are finally able to see these interesting pieces all in one location.

McClellan said that he normally puts together exhibits with one-of-a-kind pieces that go with other pieces, such as a display simply of old quilts. However, because of the uniqueness of the items in “An Olio,” McClellan knew they needed to be shown.

“These pieces are really interesting and they don’t get put out as often,” he said. “After going through our collections and pulling out different things, I went, ‘That’s neat. I’d like to use this.’”

The museum put items out on a rotating basis, with individual exhibits changing every six months.

“It keeps people coming,” McClellan said. “That way, locals who have already been to the museum get to see new collections.”

The ever-rotating exhibits in the Cattaraugus County Museum ensure that visitors will never be disappointed and that frequent guests will be in for a new experience each time they visit.

The museum, located in the Stone House at 9824 Route 16 in Machias, N.Y., is open Tuesdays–Fridays from 9–4 p.m. The exhibits are also open on the third Saturday of every month. Take a drive to the Cattaraugus County Museum, owned and operated by the county, to view the many historical artifacts they have to offer as well as “An Olio,” the new and interesting exhibit at the museum.

To contact the museum directly, call (716) 353-8200.

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