Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - NEWS -

the mu­seum pur­chase fea­tures such as light­ing and in­ter­ac­tive com­po­nents for the ex­hibit, and will pro­vide the ex­hibit with long-term sus­tain­abil­ity, she said.

“We are so thank­ful to La-Z-Boy and Au­dra Far­rell, who toured our Mu­seum and first saw the chair and ac­com­pa­ny­ing pho­tos in our cur­rent fa­cil­ity,” Ren­nard said.

While the mu­seum is un­der ren­o­va­tions, the 1970s style av­o­cado green chair is on dis­play in the lobby of the La-Z-Boy fac­tory along­side a replica of the orig­i­nal 1927 wooden La-Z-Boy chair.

“They had the fore­sight, at that time, to give that chair to the mu­seum, to re­al­ize that it’s his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant,” Ren­nard said. “That’s one of the things that we at the mu­seum keep want­ing to strive to say to peo­ple is that ‘What hap­pens to­day in our town is his­tory to­mor­row.’”

There is a strong his­tory of in­dus­try in Siloam Springs, ac­cord­ing to Ren­nard. The town was once home to the world’s largest vine­gar plant, but now pro­duces more chick­ens than ap­ples, she said. Ac­cess to the rail­road tracks, trans­porta­tion, a strong work­force and golf course to en­ter­tain clients may have been fac­tors in the de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal in­dus­try, she said.

“At the end of the day, our qual­ity of life changes ev­ery time an or­ga­ni­za­tion makes a com­mit­ment to our com­mu­nity, be­cause not only do our em­ploy­ees have a chance to get a job at a liv­ing wage, but they also have chil­dren who grow up and some­times take their place work­ing in the cor­po­ra­tion,” Ren­nard said. “You also have all these vol­un­teers who want to give back to the com­mu­nity, so Boys and Girls Club ben­e­fits, United Way ben­e­fits. … And all this hap­pens be­cause a cor­po­ra­tion makes a de­ci­sion to choose our area to make their home. The years and years of com­bined in­come have changed the eco­nomic flow of Siloam Springs.”

Mu­se­ums can play a vi­tal role in help­ing the com­mu­nity re­mem­ber the im­pact of the past.

“It’s great we are where we are, but it’s great we re­al­ize how we got here,” she said. “That’s why we have mu­se­ums.”

Photo sub­mit­ted

A photo, dated May 10, 1973, de­picts the first La-Z-Boy chair off the as­sem­bly line in Siloam Springs, which was do­nated to the Siloam Springs Mu­seum. The cap­tion iden­ti­fies the peo­ple in the photo as Marie An­drews, Charles No­cella, Bob Kil­goar, Mac McCloud and Jim Sheets.

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