ANTIOCH -- As a self-professed history junkie, Eleanor O'Donnell would love to see others take the time to enjoy the vast history that surrounds her community. That is why she and others on the Antioch Historical Society Museum's Open House Committee started new extended hours at the museum's one Wednesday a month for the summer.

"We're trying to encourage younger people to come out," she said. "Some people under 75 years old would be nice." The museum is normally open on Wednesday and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. The extended hours, which will be only on the third Wednesday of the summer months, including June 19, July 17 and Aug. 21, will be from 1 to 9 p.m. Special activities will be happening between 7 and 8 p.m. to allow commuters to get home from work and bring the family to the events.

O'Donnell said that there is so much to see at the Antioch Historical Society Museum, so the committee decided to encourage family attendance during their extended hours' days and add some children's entertainment.

"We are discussing doing things like demonstrating what Native Americans in this area used to do by letting children plant gourd seeds and take them home to watch them grow," O'Donnell said. "Some children don't realize that vegetables are grown in the ground and think they just come from the grocery store."

She also said that she hopes others who love history but have yet to have a chance to come to the museum will get that opportunity with the extended hours.


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"There is so much of interest to see," she said. "We have the sports legends area and a lot of all photos of Antioch." O'Donnell said that the group has been working to get more that a hundred historic photos, dating back more than 150 years, into the main room of the museum for people to take a look at.

"People will be surprised to see how things have changed," O'Donnell said.

She also said that not only is there a lot of history inside the museum, but the building and grounds are historic as well.

"Many people don't realize that the building was constructed in 1911 and opened in 1912 as the first high school for both Antioch and Pittsburg," she explained. "The grounds also have a lot of very old trees, including black oaks, buckeye and lotus trees."

If you go
What: Antioch Historical Society Museum family nights
When: Open for Family Fun Nights June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, from 1 to 9 p.m.
Where: 1500 Fourth St., Antioch
Info: 925-757-1326 or www.art4antioch.org/ahs.asp
Cost: Free