Thursday, November 4, 2010
Efforts continue to save historic Chalmers Institute
Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs Inc. recently conducted a much-needed clearing of the property around historic Chalmers Institute, the first university to be chartered by Mississippi state legislators in 1837.
Members of the non-profit historic preservation group and other volunteers participated. Workers were able to clear the grounds and remove a large fallen tree branch, which had destroyed the project sign and damaged the surrounding fence. Fitch Farms donated its crew for this formidable task, while other volunteers worked to provide measures to protect the building and its interior from continued exposure to the elements.
“We figured 183 years was long enough and the proud old structure needed our help,” organizer Chelius Carter said.
Plywood panels to provide protection for the window openings were donated by American Pacific; paint was donated by Teddy’s Building Supply; and other materials were donated by Booker Hardware. The labor force was provided pro-bono by Carter, Matt Martin, and Tim and Logan Liddy. Mike Lemons will be donating his services to access the roof for some minor maintenance.
Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs, Inc. is in the process of assembling a cohesive, end-use development plan to place this historic educational edifice back into the mainstream of being a regional and community asset, as it was in its long-ago life as an academy for young men. The first step towards procuring grants for this project is to exhibit local support for the project and provide weatherproofing, which was accomplished Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23-24.
“We are in the process of building up our membership base and collecting donations towards accumulating matching funds for prospective grant opportunities,” Carter said.
He said Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs Inc. will continue to work with the City of Holly Springs in order to direct remaining state funding from Senate Bill #2988 in 2003, which specifically allocates $90,000 for the restoration of historic Chalmers Institute, funds now held by the city.
For information about and joining Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs Inc., send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: PMC&HS, P.O. Box 787, Holly Springs, MS 38635.
Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible.
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