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Germantown launches virtual museum

"That’s when it clicked. Let’s do history online,” said Andrew Pouncey, Germantown Historian.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — They say it is good to remember history, so that it does not repeat itself. In Germantown, community members are making sure their history is known around the world.

Every road traveled has a different story.

“You’re standing in the center of the one square mile that was Germantown up until about 1950,” said Andrew Pouncey, City of Germantown Historian.

Germantown is a city with a journey that dates back to the early 1800’s.

“It’s about 1825 with Frances Wright. That’s a whole story there,” said Pouncey.

For years, Pouncey has been tracking and logging the stories of Germantown.

“About 10 years ago, there was a group…They wanted to have a physical museum. I could not see that we had the property here, the building to have such,” said Pouncey.

A rich past deserves a rich future.

“On a vacation once down in New Zealand, I tried to get into a museum, but it was closed,” said Pouncey. “I sat outside and pulled out my phone. There it was, everything about the inside, the outside, the construction. I learned all about that. That’s when it clicked. Let’s do history online.”

Thus, the Germantown online museum was born.

“Anybody, anywhere, anytime, can learn about Germantown history,” said Pouncey.

It has been two weeks since its launch. The interest has been high.

“We’ve had 381 contacts, 305 of those are form 55 different US cities. We have people from China, Africa, Scandinavia, England, all respond to it,” said Pouncey. “The beauty about this is you can always add to it, subtract.”

The online museum details major events, place, government, education, and people.

“My passion is WWI. In 1918-19, this town was not Germantown. It was Neshoba. We were able to find all the boys. Imagine a town that’s only 200 to 400 people. They put out 50 boys who served this country in WWI,” said Pouncey. “Then as the war was over, people’s anti-Germanic feelings settled down. Then it went back to Germantown.”

The city returned back to the name it’s known today with a better understanding of yesterday.

“I hope that people bring things in. Some of the questions that have been asked, we’re just making a list. We keep checking it off. There’s just no end. It’s the little stuff, but to me it shouldn’t be forgotten,” said Pouncey.

The goal is to never forget but to record for all to remember.