PLYMOUTH — The Lock Museum of America hosted its “Night at the Museum” event Saturday night to celebrate local history in its mission to continue to draw visitors to the Terryville area and encourage “heritage tourism.”
“We’ve lived in the city for 33 years and drive all the time,” visitor Nancy Curley said. “We saw an ad about it and thought it would be a perfect opportunity to finally come and see the lock museum. It’s funny. You live in a small town and you take things like that for granted.
Curley took a walking tour with a group of other visitors led by museum volunteer Steve Courtney. From the museum, the tour walked to the Eli Terry Jr. Waterwheel and other historic locations throughout Terryville. Courtney also volunteers for the Mark Twain House in Hartford.
“I’ve always been interested in local history and the spirit of place,” he said, “and the fact that there were so many people who were here before us who built this place, which were good people and bad people, they made it what it is, which isn’t always a perfect place, but there are still a lot of good people out there and hopefully it prospers.
Museum volunteer Jerry Milne helped organize the event along with museum curator Tom Hennessy.
“We would start here and do a quick tour and then go upstairs and show people the museum and have refreshments,” the curator said.
A Tale of Two Cemeteries lantern tours at Hillside Cemetery and Terryville Cemetery were also sponsored by the Lock Museum in a previous year and conducted by Milne.
Hennessy and Milne highlighted the importance of heritage tourism in small towns like Plymouth as a means of attracting visitors to the area to help support area businesses and keep a community’s points of pride alive.
“We had a girl from Michigan earlier who had just passed through and she stopped out of curiosity,” Hennessy said.
He noted that the Lock Museum’s escape room attraction has attracted a variety of visitors from across the state in its approximately five years of existence.
“Once you walk through the door, you can see how interesting some things are,” Hennessy continued.
Milne said such events and attractions are a way of driving visitors from one attraction to another.