Night at the Museums — a roaring success

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

Submitted by Kaye Brown Hirst

The first-ever “Night at the Museums” event hosted by Rowan Museum and the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum was a giant success. All three shows sold out in advance to nearly 100 guests. The museums put on quite a show which included a trolley ride, a tour of both museums, a variety of interactive charters and a buffet dinner.

The evening attendees made up a great mix of all ages. Adults and children were eager to experience the Museums’ characters and troublemakers who were responsible for making the adventures at the museums come alive.

Guests arrived at the Rowan Museum where they were greeted on the front porch by “Museum Night Watchman Lou Tennant” who handed out magic keys to each guest. Teddy Roosevelt, (Bob Palomino) held the magic tablet and escorted guests as they boarded the trolley which took them to the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum.

When guests arrived at the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum they went on a scavenger hunt in search of the museum’s characters.

A Boy Scout (Chuck Bowman), a Capuchin monkey (Caroline Nance), a Neanderthal (Stephen Johnson), and Barbie (Madison Cook) had fun with the visitors.

George Washington (David Post) interacted with the guests along with (Ginny Schumacher ) the Museum Photographer.

Squeals and giggles rang out throughout the evening each time the Paleontologist (Dan Mickelson) brought out his favorite prehistoric beast — Rexy. The animated dinosaur costume was incredibly detailed and realistic just like the mighty Tyrannosaurus.

Before ushering guests back onto the trolley, Teddy Roosevelt came to the rescue and was able to keep the peace and restore order to the evening. The guests were caught up in a fantasy hold-up as the Western Cowboy (Larry Boles) tried to take over control of the trains from the Train Conductor (John John Wagoner).

Guests got back on the trolley and headed to the Rowan Museum.

Guests at the Rowan Museum were greeted by executive director Kaye Brown Hirst who carried the powerful tablet that would bring the Museum to life. She also wore rings and rings of Museum keys.

The Museum guide, Sacajewea (Museum intern Marian Hough) led guests to different rooms of the Museums where exhibits came to life.

Famed local photographer Theo Buerbaum (Clyde) came to life and photographed the guests and told stories of an earlier Salisbury.

Elizabeth Maxwell Steele (Eunice Holt) stood at a tavern table and told of General Nathaniel Green’s visit to Salisbury and her help in giving him her gold to aid his troops.

The town drunk (Terry Holt) met guests in front of a whiskey bottle exhibit and shared stories of the community at one time being the “Wickedest and wettest” town in the area.

Daniel Boone (Robbie Cochran) greeted guests and came to life in the wagon room and told of his adventures.

A Confederate Prison guard (Simon Connolly), jumped down from his perch and stopped guests and asked for their papers as they tried to go to the Messinger Room on the second floor.

The Messinger Room Room Matre’ d (John Giudice) saw that all guests were fed well with dinner and prizes and games offered. Museum board member Elliott Mathis showed the recent edition of the Night at the Museum 3 movie on the ceiling of the Messinger Room. The Museum Security guard (Diana Moghrabi) kept guests busy with her antics.

These are only some of the highlights. The museums are in the process of planning 2016’s event.

For more event information, or


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