REED CITY — A large crowd was on hand Thursday night at the Old Rugged Cross Museum when the Reed City Area Chamber of Commerce held their monthly Business After Five at that location.

A number of guests confessed that this was their first time at the museum, and many admitted they were pleased to see the array of treasures from the past on display at that location.

After spending time touring the facility, asking questions and getting answers especially to the “What is that thing?” sorts of questions, a number of those visiting said they plan to come back.

Ron Andres recently refurbished an oil rig and demonstrated how it works. That replica along with a large display of other items pertaining to the oil fields that operated throughout the years in this vicinity will be one of the features when the museum opens and holds an open house on May 1.

The museum will then be open seven days a week through Sept. 30 from 1-4 p.m.

Anyone wishing to assist at the museum as a volunteer guide or greeter anytime throughout the summer should call the museum or stop by on or after May 1 to volunteer.

Many people visiting were fascinated by the “Old Rugged Cross” display at the museum, and the actual furniture which originally had been in the home of the famous hymn’s author, George Bennard, and his wife, Hannah, who lived just north of Reed City near Ashton.

The Old Rugged Cross Museum is gearing up for a special tribute to the Bennards in the summer of 2012, at which time the actual hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross,” will celebrate its 100th anniversary since he wrote it.

That celebration is being planned to coincide with the Crossroads Celebration in Reed City.

Before the Business after Five ended, the group sang the famous hymn, “The Old Rugged Cross.”