1902 Victorian

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rebels With a Cause

Last night we attended a meeting of the Greene County Historical Society. We've lived in Eutaw for 16 months now, which means we are considered newbies. We sat at a table with the other newbs - all of whom moved here around the same time as us - and joked that we are the rebels of the historical society crowd.

The veteran members of the GCHS seemed glad to see us. New blood in a room where the average age skewed toward 70.

The keynote speaker was the architect in charge of the Greene County Courthouse Square restoration. He was a fascinating guy, obviously dedicated to accuracy and faithfulness. The properties must be stabilized first. A moisture problem with the 1840s probate building must be fixed. A separating roof support in the 1869 courthouse must be fixed.

Then for the fun stuff. He wants to get a paint analysis done on the exterior of the courthouse (interior, too, if possible). Now it's "monolithic white," which the architect said wasn't even an available paint color when the building was constructed. He says the stucco was most likely scored to look like stone blocks and faux painted like stone. I could tell he freaked some people out with that talk, but I thought it sounded fabulous.

Inside, the upstairs courtroom floor was changed years ago to a stadium-style slant, which eliminated the original fireplaces that were the only heat in 1869. This guy wants to restore the courtroom floor to flat and put mantels back in.

I love all his ideas. I just wish we could raise enough money to do them. We have $700,000 of grant money available, but we can only use as much as we can match. Yeah, can't do much with $20,000.

So for now, the drainage system and the roof. It's a start.

I wish I could help, but I don't know how. Being a newbie (and a rebel), I'm waaaay outside the loop on GCHS goings-on. Good news, though - donations are tax deductible. Maybe I've found a way to ward off a high tax bill next year ...



The Greene County Courthouse in 1936, courtesy The Library of Congress

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5 Comments:

halloweenlover said...

You've scared me with the taxes thing. I am bugging Josh to do our taxes ASAP because if we have to pay AGAIN, like we did last year ($9,000- GAG), I'll die. Just die.

Sounds like a fun group!

5:14 PM  
mindy said...

Awww, I'm jealous you have a group - even if it's mostly older elitists who frown down upon you ;)

I say you guys get creative with the fundraising. You're crafty enough to lead the charge!

7:13 PM  
Greg said...

That is great that you're getting involved. A lot of my friends are active locally but I tend to stay in the shadows myself. It is great that there is someone there thinking about an accurate restoration. Just getting someone to think like that can be half the battle sometimes. Thinking long term is the key. Even if ya'll can't do it all now, stabilizing the buildings is a very good thing. My friends just got a big local roof contractor to agree to donate a new roof to a 1906 fire house. Needless to say this contractor will get a lot of free press for this. Some people love the lime light and you can exploit it.

8:39 PM  
Lenise said...

Hubby and I went to our town's historical society meeting once. It's not at all well publicized, which is a large part of why we haven't been back. It was fun, but we were definitely the youngsters there, too. Everyone else was Medicare eligible, I'm sure!

10:23 AM  
Kristin said...

"even if it's mostly older elitists who frown down upon you ;) "

You hit the nail on the head, Mindy! It is nice to have a group, though, even a barely active one.

2:27 PM  

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