JOPLIN, Mo. — There are new things to see in the new year at an area historical attraction.

Since they don’t have the option of closing down entirely to remodel all at once, work is being completed in sections inside the History and Mineral Museum in Joplin.

“Some new stories we’re wanting to tell over there, plus we’re wanting to enhance the way the story has been told to make it a little bit more modern,” said Chris Wiseman, Curator, Joplin History & Mineral Museum

Work has begun in the mineral portion of the complex to re-label and re-light the existing collection of rocks that were routinely encountered by area miners throughout the Tri-State Mining District.

It even challenges visitors to see how heavy it is just to lift the lead-laden rock samples.

There’s also a newly discovered 16-minute video about living and working in the district on a continuous loop.

Some of the display cases around the perimeter of the room haven’t been changed at all since the 1970s and are scheduled to receive a makeover.

Displays have also been upgraded inside the history portion of the building.

“We have updated our display cases that deal with the Civil War, uh talking more about the Battle of Carthage, uh the uh activity of German American soldiers from the time and uh uh having some neat artifacts that we have been able to pull together to put on display also,” said Wiseman.

There’s also a new and improved display of a historic Joplin hotel.

“And interestingly enough we have a lot of papers items that were collected the day the Connor collapsed, so we had a gentleman who had those and we came with us and we thought this would be great, we can actually expand our display with some of this stuff,” said Wiseman.

But the changes aren’t just limited to the inside of the structure.

Wiseman says beds outside the building featuring native prairie grasses and wildflowers will be planted.

He says it will give visitors a glimpse of what the area looked like before the mining started.

That way, he says it will bring exhibits beyond the walls of the building.