The beauty of the historic Maag House at Heritage Museum of Orange County is only skin-deep. Due to chronic lack of funding, the interior of the 5000-square-foot Colonial Revival house has not yet been restored. For years it has served as one of the largest and fanciest storage units anywhere, eventually filling to the point where it had become almost impossible to move around inside.
Some opportunities for making a start on the restoration have begun to surface, so work has begun on cleaning out the house.
On Monday, May 16, Heritage Museum employees joined with volunteers to begin the clean-out effort. Adam England used his day off from his new job at the Muckenthaler to help Kathy Williams supervise the effort. Museum Board Members Les Hall, Jim Gray, John Mowbray, and John Wallin were on hand to help with the hard work. They took on the daunting task of separating the unwanted junk from the historical artifacts, school program props and supplies, and other items that need to be preserved.
Several dumpsters were filled with discarded materials, and many items not destined for the landfill were moved upstairs or to interior rooms. Period furniture pieces stored in the house are being arranged to make the rooms that are visible from the outside windows appear “lived in.”
A great deal more work needs to be done, but this was an exciting beginning toward restoring the house and giving it an active role at Heritage Museum.