A marker installed on Interstate 20 more than a year and a half ago continues to draw people to Harlem's Laurel and Hardy Museum.
"That sign is just incredible," said Linda Caldwell, the museum's lead volunteer, adding that between 450 and 500 guests are now visiting the museum at 250 N. Louisville St. every month.
With such demand, officials say more volunteers would be another welcome sight.
"We would like at least two more volunteers, two more to possibly help split Saturdays," Caldwell said, adding that current weekday shifts are usually three hours, and Saturdays bring a full six-hour shift.
Four volunteers staff the museum, which focuses on the life and works of Oliver Hardy, the city's most famous native son. The museum is supported through sales and donations and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
More than 500 people visited the museum to learn about Hardy in July alone, Caldwell said.
"We talk to all these people from around the world and different states," she said, adding that May visitors included some from states as far away as Utah, Texas and Wisconsin, in addition to foreign visitors from Australia, Brazil, Mexico and France. "We have them come from everywhere."
The museum features donated original Laurel and Hardy artifacts, a screening room where movies are played on demand and gift items for sale including movies, mugs and even Oliver Hardy coffee in five different flavors.
Like Harlem, Grovetown also boasts a volunteer-run museum to showcase its history.
The City of Grovetown Museum, nestled in the center of town at 106 W. Robinson Ave., includes artifacts and displays such as a small replica of the city's former railroad depot and the porch of the former S.F. Poole's general store and its "philosophy bench." The museum also highlights Paul Hamilton Hayne, a prolific Civil War era poet who lived in Grovetown.
"We would love volunteers," said Sylvia Martin, the president of the museum board.
That museum is currently operated by one paid person, who staffs the facility 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers operate the museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.
"We volunteer when need be," Martin said of the museum board and the paid staffer who kept the museum open on Memorial Day, when the city's Memorial Wall was dedicated next door. Volunteers lead school fields trips and other special events on weekdays.
Martin said visitor numbers vary, though she doesn't track each guest to the museum. Some weekends are busy, while others are slower.
"We're really hoping to get more school groups this year," she said, adding that the museum operates on a small city-funded budget and donations.
For more information or to volunteer, contact the Grovetown museum at (706) 863-4576 or (706) 863-1687. To reach the Laurel and Hardy Museum, call (706) 556-0401.
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