Old Rugged Cross museum faces closure due to low revenue
September 6, 2020
REED CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan museum that pays homage to the "The Old Rugged Cross" Christian hymn is facing closure due to low revenue, a local official said.
The venue has been operating on no more than $4,000 in donations each year, Reed City Councilmember Nate Bailey told The Detroit News. Revenue has been so low that the nonprofit that runs it has asked the city to waive the building's $200 monthly rent.
The Old Rugged Cross Historical Museum is dedicated to the Rev. George Bennard, who composed the hymn more than a century ago. The museum followed a memorial cross erected in 1954 near Bennard's home.
"The city is losing money, even at the current rent rate, with maintenance and things we do," Bailey said. "Other members of the council weren't sold on eliminating rent and because the museum is an important community location, I took it upon myself, to try to increase their revenue."
The average age of volunteers is 70, and Bailey said he wished more young people would engage with important history.