The Shop Small initiative was in full swing this weekend with local business anticipating sizable turnouts.

In a bid to solicit interest in the Stephenville Historical Museum and its gift shop, board directors hosted an open house Saturday. All proceeds garnered from sales at the shop go toward the maintenance and upkeep of the museum.

“The idea for doing this came up at our last board meeting,” author and board member Sherri Knight said. “Last year we had a Christmas open house event. But we decided to combine that event with National Shop Small Day.”

The museum jumped into the Shop Small campaign by offering works from several avenues of art created by local talents, including books chronicling Erath County events and its people of note.

Knight committed to staying the entire day, autographing her latest true life crime book, “Death List: Trail of Terror.”

Other locally penned books available include James Pylant's recently published “In Morticia's Shadow,” a biography of Addams Family actress, Carolyn Jones, who had ties to the area.

Unique items for sale in the gift shop include notecards featuring the Berry Cottage and the Oxford House, which are on museum grounds. Coloring Books drawn by Kerri Fleming can be purchased for the little ones. To appeal to hunting enthusiasts, Glenn Huffman has supplied the store with intricately carved and painted wooden ducks, and rings made by jewelry designer Robin Ritchie are on display.

Knight predicted the biggest draw to the store will be the Christmas tree ornaments featuring the Erath County Courthouse.

There is a 10 percent discount on all merchandise for members of the Friends of the Musem, which carries a modest $5 fee.

Gift shop hours will coincide with museum hours which are 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.Tuesday through Saturday and 1 – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Shoppers are welcome to stroll the museum grounds and docents are on hand to give tours inside of the buildings. Museum treasurer Dorothy Farrar encourages county residents to take an interest in the museum to keep it viable.

“So many people think we are subsidized by the city, but that's not the case,” she said. “The only income we have comes from donations, rental of the facilities and a tiny portion of the hotel/motel tax. We need everybody's help to maintain the museum, and the entire community needs to take ownership.”

Other local artists are invited to contact the museum at (254) 965-5880 for information about submitting their work for sale by commission.