Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Fulton Landmark is Being Saved

For generations, the old home atop the steep embankment on Fulton’s Main Street has greeted passers-by. From the days during the 1860s when the road was the Fulton and Russellville Road to the times when it changed to Bankhead Highway, the old home has withstood the passages of time.

Unfortunately Fulton has lost many of its architectural treasures but The Cedars on Main Street has withstood demolition in the name of progress. And thanks to the members of the Fulton United Methodist Church, present owners of the home, the old home can be enjoyed by future generations.

Through efforts of some members of the church, a community-wide effort was begun to move and restore the original section of the home, making room for a church parsonage. And their call for help has fortunately not gone unheard. A grassroots organization called Preserving Itawamba County’s Heritage has been formed and many hours of volunteer labor has been spent with the noble cause.

The organization is more than talk and meetings. There has been plenty of hands-on work. The Cedars was the site of a major volunteer effort Saturday, September 26, 2009 when nearly 100 volunteers devoted part of their morning to cleaning the grounds and the interior of the house. Debris was removed from the lawn and the grass mowed and trimmed. Inside the house all of the recent carpet and padding and several of the newer items were removed and the interior cleaned.

Fulton artist and art educator Teb Thornton recently completed two works which he has donated to Preserving Itawamba County's Heritage (PICH). The art work will be used as a means of raising funds for the relocation and renovation of The Cedars. The artist prepared a watercolor of The Cedars as it exists today --- and a limited edition of 100 prints signed by the artist are available to benefit The Cedars Project Fund (an affiliate of the Create Foundation of Tupelo). All proceeds will be used in the preservation effort to relocate and to restore The Cedars. You may reserve your copy of this limited edition print by contacting the PICH at its blog site Preserving Itawamba County's Heritage. Additional donations to the Create Gaither House Project Fund may be made online at the Create Foundation website.

During this month there will be a benefit at the historic structure in Fulton. Mississippi Hill Country Heritage Day will be Sunday, October 18, 2009 at the historic structure at 211 Main Street. The event will run from 2 - 5 PM and all proceeds will benefit the project.

Tickets to the Mississippi Hill Country Heritage Day event are $15 for adults and $10 for students with admission for small children free. Tours of The Cedars and information about its history, music, games, displays, and a tasting of period foods are all included in this one ticket price.

For further information about this worthwhile event, visit the Preserving Itawamba County’s Heritage blog.


Terry Thornton said...

Thank you Bob for sharing your vast knowledge of Itawamba County history and genealogy and for helping preserve Itawamba County's history and heritage.

Your article about the group, Preserving Itawamba County's Heritage, and its efforts to save The Cedars is most appreciated.

Thank you so much.

Terry Thornton,
Treasurer, PICH
Fulton, Mississippi

Oliver Westmoreland Jr. said...

Just a few questions I have that might come up from others.
Where will parking be for the event, and when you say students; does that include those in college or just the public school studets?

I think this is a great idea.
I hope that more of the community and those passionate about local history of North Mississippi get involved and donate!

Anonymous said...

Bob, I know shadows on photos can be very deceiving; however, I'm a little curious about the time of year of this picture. The leaves look so "small" and delicate, that it leads me to think it is an early spring day. Then again, it looks s o o o cold for the front porch area that I have the feeling that the roof's whiteness and the white ground might be coated in a late spring snow dusting. Just some thoughts to ponder. bettye

Bob Franks said...

Bettye, you have a good eye. If I recall correctly, I took that photograph during the early Spring.