The Lawrence County History and Preservation Society, a newly formed non-profit organization, aims to promote and preserve the history and heritage of Lawrence County, including its historic landmarks and structures.
LCHPS achieved its non-profit 501-c status on June 11, 2018—two months after first organizing in April.
President Ann Britnell sought permission from Lawrence County Commissioners at a Friday morning meeting on Aug. 10 to hold the organization’s first fundraiser on the historic Courthouse Square in Downtown Moulton.
Commissioners gave approval for the fundraiser, a Fall Harvest Festival, which will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2018. Vice President Dana Charles said, “With this festival, we’re just planting a seed and hoping it’ll grow. Maybe we can do it annually.”
Board Member Linda Peebles said LCHPS is taking small steps to spread awareness for their organization. “We’ve got so much history, and we’re losing a lot of it,” she said.
The board is currently focusing on historic landmarks and trying to make focal points of them for the betterment of the county. Peebles explained one of their first projects as a non-profit. She said the organization hopes to produce maps and pamphlets of the county marked with all the county’s historical locations and points of interest.
“This is a beautiful spot, but we have so many areas that need to be restored. They could actually be great tourist destinations,” Britnell said.
LCHPS also hopes to restore a Joe Wheeler monument located in an old overgrown park, once known as Lawrence County Park. Britnell received the Commission’s approval to proceed with clean up efforts in restoring the monument and making the park accessible again at no cost to the county.
The land surrounding the monument is owned by Tennessee Valley Authority and was leased to Lawrence County in the 1950s. Lawrence County Park was built under that lease in 1955, but in 1974 the land went back to TVA. Charles recalls visiting the park in the 1980s but said the area has almost been forgotten and has fallen into a state of disrepair.
Britnell said it could take up to two years to clean and restore the park so that it may be used by the communities of Lawrence County. She said she hopes to be able to organize a countywide cleanup day to expedite the restoration process and bring the community together.
Peebles said the organization would love to get picnic tables back on the site in efforts to make it family friendly again.
LCHPS is ambitious about its future in preserving Lawrence County’s past. The organization has applied for a $20,000 grant with the Alabama Historical Commission. With any funds they may receive, the organization hopes to begin their restoration soon.
LCHPS also works in promoting the Lawrence County Veteran Banners for Lawrence County Veterans past and present and does not receive any profits from that program.
LCHPS currently consists of 30 members and welcomes more. There is an annual $20 fee to join, and the group meets every first Monday of the month at 1 p.m. at the Archives in Moulton. Their next meeting will occur on Tuesday, Sept. 4 because that Monday is Labor Day.
For more information visit the LCHPS website at www.lchps18.wixsite.com/mysite.