Grand Opening Set For Roy Rogers Museum In Portsmouth

By
Joe Jackson
Associated Press

Dateline
Updated Mon, Jul 30, 2012 3:06 pm

The city of Portsmouth is set to open a new museum that will honor their hometown hero and his "happy trails."

According to Portsmouth-Scioto County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Kim Bauer, the new Roy Rogers Memory's museum will open this Wednesday during the city's 29th annual festival that celebrates the legacy of the King of the Cowboys, as he was known.
 
The museum will feature movie posters, autographed photos, a cowboy hat and other items on display.
 
Bauer says Roy Rogers, who was born Leonard Slye, grew up in Portsmouth but moved to California at the age of 19 to become a singer.
 
After gaining success with his popular western cowboy band, The Sons of the Pioneers, Roy Rogers found himself making steady appearances in western movies.
 
Bauer says Rogers and his wife, Dale Evans, were featured in more than 100 western movies and were considered heroes among all children. 
 
"A hero can be someone that either saves somebody's life or somebody that just reflects the persona of what being a good person is and Roy Rogers always depicted that," says Bauer.
 
Although Rogers spent a lot of time making movies in California, Bauer said he always made frequent visits to Portsmouth to visit his family that still lived there. 
 
"I'm a Scioto County girl and, like I said, it was nothing to walk into Bob Evans and see Roy Rogers sitting there. It was just like,'Oh, Roy's in town'," said Bauer.
 
Although a larger Roy Rogers museum in Branson, Missouri was closed in 2010 due to financial troubles, Bauer says she hopes to see this new museum stand the test of time.  
 
This year's festival marks the 100th anniversary of Rogers' birth year.
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