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Construction workers and Big Fresno Fair organizers are working to finish up work on the new Fresno County Historical Museum. (KFSN)

Construction workers and Big Fresno Fair organizers are working to finish up work on the new Fresno County Historical Museum.

Big Fresno Fair CEO John Alkire says what started as a small history lesson on the Big Fresno fair turned into a blueprint for a major expansion project that would showcase the history of Fresno County.

Alkire said, "Because we lost the met and other than that we don't have any place to really show off our collectables and our treasures of Fresno County."

The new two story building next to the Paul Paul Theater cost nearly $3 million and was paid for with a combination of donations and fundraisers.

On the first floor you'll find displays dedicated to Fresno police and fire in addition to a history lesson on Kings Canyon National Park.

Construction began in February but for nearly a year Alkire has been working on getting donations for the museum.

Alkire said, "There has been a tremendous amount of community support from a lot of different groups that wanted to make sure they can come in and be showcased and make sure they are involved with the county museum."

One of the organizations involved is the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame.

Walt Byrd with the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame said, "Our inductees are excited to be able to get it out where the public can see it and really appreciate the level of athletics that has occurred in this Valley."

Inductees like NFL star Trent Dilfer have made donations for the display and tributes will honor late Fresno State coaches Jim Sweeney and Jerry Tarkanian.

A new display outside will feature Fresno County's history. The Big Fresno Fair worked with the Fresno Historic Society to give the cupola from the old county courthouse a new home.

Alkire explained, "Before it was torn down in 1966 it was the most iconic image in Fresno County next to the water tower but we've been very excited about bringing it back here."

Back inside the second floor is still under construction but once complete it will include a replica of an old county courtroom with two goddesses of justice.

The museum will be open daily during the Big Fresno Fair from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is free to the public with three guided tours each day.




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