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Historical museum open again after renovations

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The Burlingame Hillsborough Historical Museum opened its doors for the second time in one year, and organizers hope new renovations will keep the museum accessible to visitors for years to come.

Russ Cohen, president of the Burlingame Historical Society, said the museum is a vital part of local -history.

"It’s especially important for the children," he said. "It’s cliché to say, but I think everyone has to learn the history of their hometown to appreciate and know how it came to be."

The museum first opened in October 2008 with an exhibit titled "Trains, Planes and Automobiles." After only six months, however, it closed again for upgrades, renovations and a new exhibit.

The museum is located in the Caltrain station, so the work included new paint to the interior and exterior of the station, new plumbing and bathrooms, a new alarm system and repairs to the roof.

During the closure, the museum added permanent and removable exhibits to allow for them to be easily changed, said Cohen. The permanent exhibit includes a 1908 chemical wagon — used to help fight brush and structure fires a century ago — on loan and restored by the Fire Department.

Cohen said the historical society has been collecting photos and antique pieces representative of Burlingame and Hillsborough since the 1970s.

"We’ve built up quite a collection," he said. "Should help us keep exhibits fresh so people come back to see more and more about their hometown."

akoskey@sfexaminer.com