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TYLER, Texas (AP) — When Dr. Marjorie Roper retired from her Bullard medical practice, she found she had a lot of memorabilia lying around.
Her family has been part of the O.L. Ferrell Drug Store, where she practiced medicine from 1947 to 2007, since her parents bought it in 1919. The drug store, on Phillips Street, consisted of the store in the front and the pharmacy and medical practice in the back.
As a result, she's collected a variety of items over the years, such as a photo of her parents at the age they were when they came to Bullard, original pharmacy pieces; an old narcotics cabinet, old prescriptions from the 1920s and 1930s, and a stool that her father sat on when he filled prescriptions.
Ms. Roper, 91, dreamed of having a historical museum to showcase her memories, and good family friend Jan Berry, who retired from teaching in Bullard after 38 years, helped her out with the idea.
Ms. Roper decided she wanted to have military items and items that pertained to the history of Bullard businesses. She would also add things that others wanted to preserve.
"I didn't intend for it to be this much. I just wanted to show my stuff and not keep them in boxes...," Ms. Roper said.
"Everybody's been cooperative. I just didn't intend for it to be this big, but after we started getting these things from other people, we thought it would be better to be a historical thing for the community."
Her dream will come to fruition on Nov. 3, the weekend of the Bullard Red White and Blue Festival. The museum will open at 11 a.m. that day after the festival parade.
Ms. Roper would also like to open the place periodically to community members or to local groups that want to come in.
"It's not going to be a money-making thing. It's just a thing for the community," Ms. Roper said.
Although the museum will serve as a learning opportunity for residents, for Ms. Roper and her family, the items are connected to memories, her granddaughter, Amy Roper McKeethan said.
That includes a sewing machine that Ms. Roper's mother used.
"Her father was postmaster for the town, and he would come in and out, and her mom would be here sewing the kids' clothes," Ms. McKeethan said. "That's meaningful to her -- things like that -- because she remembers coming home from school, seeing her mom, and knowing that her mom would get up and go get her dad to fill a prescription or get up to make a soda."
A soda fountain was one of the highlights of the drug store, and a lot of times, when people didn't have money, they would barter for their treatment. Ms. Roper recalled.
Ms. McKeethan started working in the drug store while attending school. She said working for her grandmother and her practice was unlike working for any doctor because she had specific ways to talk to patients, and remembered everything about them.
The old medical offices and exam rooms are now being prepared for the museum.
There's a doll room, a book room, and a music room in the back, complete with old records and photographs. Among the other items there are a framed document with President Franklin Roosevelt's original signature from when Ms. Roper's father was postmaster; Ms. Roper's old doctor smock and bag; and the old office of Ms. Roper's brother, Dr. Oran "Bud" Ferrell.
In the front, people can see a war section that features buntings, along with photos of family members who served in the military.
"It's been a dream of hers (to have the museum)," Ms McKeethan said of her grandmother. "She has such value in the things (that) preserve her memories, and she wants to share it. I would just imagine at 91 years old and having been here from ground zero when there was a train and a depot and all those things that she doesn't want people to forget that because Bullard's growing at such a fast pace and such modernization's coming."
Overall, Ms. Berry said the goal with the museum is to preserve history, and have classes come there to take tours and learn about history.
"We don't have anything in Bullard that has a little school history and the traditions," she said, adding that there are old Bullard sports jerseys.
She said they also expect to have a picture of eight World War II veterans from Bullard who were killed in action.
Information from: Tyler Morning Telegraph, http://www.tylerpaper.com