ALEXANDRIA — Larry Maple is a man of few words, but it is easy to tell he loves history and he loves seeing people appreciate the history he has helped bring together at the Alexandria Monroe Historic Museum.
The museum opened for the season Saturday, and Maple said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout. In the four hours the building was open, Maple said, they had about 100 people come through.
"It's nice to have all the people come," Maple said. "It makes you feel like what you're doing is worth it."
The museum is a collection of history from the early days of Alexandria either collected by the historical society or donated by people who have lived in the city for years. This year, the museum is introducing several brand new items, including a room dedicated to local sports in the city.
Maple said a lot of work went into getting the items, which include an old Tiger mascot costume and an old scoreboard. He said they got most of the items from the local school.
Joyce Grose, a secretary for the historical society, even donned the Tiger costume for most of the day, showing off the new artifacts in the giant, striped suit.
She said Alexandria is unique in the sense that the city is a very tight-knit community. Grose grew up in Alexandria and said the museum means a lot to many residents.
The mascot costume held a couple meanings for her. Not only was it from the old high school, but the museum was also celebrating the old Tiger Cafe where Grose said everyone in the 1970s and 80s would go for lunch. For Grose, the costume was also a nod to the good times she and others had at the old restaurant.
"This museum does great things for the community," she said. "People love coming and seeing old pictures."