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story.lead_photo.caption FILE PHOTO The McDonald County Historical Courthouse Museum is shown. The McDonald County Historical Society recently added a virtual tour of the museum to its website at mcdonaldcountyhistory.org.

The McDonald County Historic Courthouse Museum has been closed due to the covid-19 pandemic, but thanks to the efforts of the McDonald County Historical Society, those wishing to visit the museum may now do so virtually.

Go to the historical society's website at mcdonaldcountyhistory.org and click on the Tour tab to view the tour.

Historical Society president Karen Dobbs discussed the website's new feature.

She said webmaster LaSandra McKeever put the virtual tour on the website. Board president Lynn Tatum took the 500 pictures that make up the tour, she said. Putting the feature together took two months of a concentrated effort, she added.

"You have to move at your own rate, which is good, because if you make the photo bigger to read the content, you can get all the details. You can see more of the museum than when you tour through because there are no distractions," Dobbs said.

She said it took a while to get all the content together because every photo that was uploaded had to go through 13 steps, including being edited in PhotoShop, having a caption written, etc.

"I think it makes it worthwhile to go to the website and look at it," she said.

Dobbs said that "it was an idea we had before the pandemic but, since the pandemic, we put it on the front burner. We're hoping we can use that tour to promote the museum, to give people who are not able to come to us a chance to see it."

She said the tour goes through every room in the museum and gives a full view of it. She added some of the places that are shown are a little different because the historical society has made some changes the public has not yet seen.

The schools' exhibit can be viewed under the Schools tab or in the virtual tour, she said. If people have photos of schools or students, they can submit them, as the historical society is continuing to add to the schools' exhibit.

She said visitors will get to see each room in the museum and learn a few details about each exhibit.

"I thought it was fun to see the elements of the Jesse James exhibit up close and study the pictures -- also our front hallway where we introduce the different communities," she said.

She added that the museum has a new mannequin that is a suffragette.

"We're really happy," Dobbs said. "This is a goal we had at the beginning of the year before everything changed, and now that we've got it done and people can visit the museum without even having to leave their living room is something we were happy to get to, and we feel like it's a success. We definitely want people to visit the virtual tour."

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