Several old books, Lincoln memorabilia, including original newspapers that carried articles about his funeral, are included with tax records and information about Lucey Sparrow's descendants.
Volunteers have been working on the museum all year after obtaining a $2,350 grant from the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and Kentucky Historical Society.
"We were going to do a small room, but the board (of Forkland Community Center) decided this room would be better," said Thurman, who wrote the grant.
Repairs and restorations
Before the exhibits could be put in place, repairs were made to the ceiling and a fresh coat of paint applied to the walls. Display cases have been set up. Murals of local scenes on the old blackboards by local artist and teacher Marjory Ellis, were saved.
The grant was used to purchase two display cases and 7-foot tall panels to display photographs of those who descended from the Sparrow family.
Other corners of the large room will have a home section, early church display and an antique technology section.
"Technology back then was on the cutting edge when it came on the scene," said Thurman. Weight scales, cash register, typewriter, film projector and other items that changed how work was done will be in the technology section.
"When you got a pen to replace a pencil and then we used a typewriter to replace the pen, those are improvements," he said.
One corner will have an area about funeral traditions and how births and deaths were celebrated in the Forkland area. A wooden casket and models wearing mourning clothing are part of the display.
"We're trying to focus on Forkland heritage and our traditions," said Thurman. The more than 400 items for exhibits have been donated.
Museum open once a week
While the museum will open for the festival, the community plans a grand opening in February with more Lincoln memorabilia.
"We plan to keep the museum open at least once a week all year, and we need volunteers to help out on Saturday afternoons," Thurman said.
"It's a nice drive down here and we want someone here to open the museum and tell about our history and exhibits. A gift shop and library also will be open," he said.
A black bench from Sycamore School, which was a nearby one-room school, and a table will be available for people to sit and look at books and other materials available for sale.
Besides the grant, the committee is asking for cash donations to purchase other supplies.
The local museum will be Forkland's part of the state Bicentennial Commission's festivities for 2008-2010 to celebrate Lincoln's 200th birthday.
Lucey Shipley Hanks Sparrow moved from Virginia to Kentucky in 1787 or 1788 with her child, Nancy, who was Lincoln's mother.
Thurman said the Forkland Festival in 2008 will be geared around the Lincoln connections to the community and will include a play about Lucey Sparrow.