Don Nickerson, a familiar face in Cairo and Grady County, began work at the museum last month and expanded the hours of operation. He is supported by his wife Cynthia, who is serving as a volunteer.
“We have a fascinating collection here, and we want more people to come and enjoy it and learn more about the history of our community,” Nickerson said.
The husband-wife duo have an array of experience that makes them both highly qualified to serve the museum.
Don Nickerson’s career has been in the field of libraries. He has served as the library director of public, academic and private libraries, as well as the director of a research center during his work career.
His experience in management, strategic planning, fundraising and grant writing will also be of value to the museum’s future.
Nickerson credits the late Wessie Connell for giving him his start here. He worked with her for 11 years at Roddenbery Memorial Library before becoming director of the Thomasville Public Library and later the Coastal Plain Regional Library.
During his tenure at Coastal Plain, he oversaw construction of three new library buildings and the remodeling and enlarging of two others.
He worked for 10 years as director of information services and director of libraries at Thomas University before taking on the role of research director at an area plantation.
Outside of the library, Nickerson works as a part-time grant writer for nonprofit organizations. In his spare time, he engages in his love of rare books, antique maps and prints.
The new museum administrator is the son of the late Virginia and Donald Nickerson Sr., who many will remember as a teacher at Washington Middle School.
Cynthia Rushin Nickerson, as a volunteer at the museum, brings her nine years of experience as a professional museum archivist. She is trained in modern historical preservation techniques and methodology.
The newly expanded hours for the museum are Tuesday through Friday, 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the third and fourth Saturdays of each month.
To schedule group tours or for more information, contact the Nickersons at 229-377-5142.