LIMESTONE COUNTY ARCHIVES, ATHENS GIRL SCOUTS PARTNER TO OPEN RENOVATED FACILITY, NEW EXHIBIT
ATHENS, Ala. – For more than a year, the doors of the former train depot that houses the Limestone County Archives were closed to the public while crews worked to install a fire protection system, remove lead paint, and a host of other activities all designed to restore and protect this building and its priceless contents, the historic record of Limestone County.
On Nov. 16, archivists will fling the doors open wide and...
... welcome the public inside for an exclusive look at the results of the nearly half a million dollars’ worth of renovations to the facility and the first local history exhibit installed in the new exhibit space, “Driving Forces: How Athens Got Here,” created by Girl Scout Troop 10338 in partnership with the Limestone County Archives.
Visitors will be allowed to tour the facility, view the exhibit, and enjoy refreshments in the research room from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16.
As part of the renovations, the building’s contents were rearranged to be able to convert the former depot agent’s office into an exhibit space, open for locally-created as well as traveling exhibits that highlight aspects of local history and its connection to state and national events. “Driving Forces” will be on display through early December, when the next exhibit will be installed, the traveling exhibit “Remembering the Great War: Alabama and World War One.”
Four Cadettes of the Athens Bible School Girl Scout Troop 10388 -- Lillian Pennington, Jessie Green, Claire Sandlin, and Sarah Cagle – created “Driving Forces: How Athens Got Here” for their Silver Award project, in which they each contribute 50 hours of community service after completing academic studies in prior years. Their goal was to benefit the community by highlighting hometown history.
Each Girl Scout spent hours at the Limestone County Archives and at home, researching the origin of 25 street names in Athens and collecting other bits of historical information for the exhibit. The final exhibit includes a map of Athens with chosen streets and information visible about the namesakes and their lives and contributions. The girls, who have all been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten, will be on hand at the exhibit opening to answer questions and share more about what they have learned about their hometown.
“I am excited about partnering with local Girl Scouts to create and host this exhibit, and more importantly, to give them the opportunity to delve into our history and then share with the community what they have learned,” said Rebekah Davis, Archivist at the Limestone County Archives. “Our mission is preserving and sharing the history of Limestone County so that it is available today and for generations to come, and that only happens when people like these Girl Scouts take ownership of and pride in their community story.”
The Limestone County Archives building, the former L&N Passenger Depot built in 1905 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was closed from August 2016 to August 2017 to accommodate multiple renovation projects totaling almost $479,000. Those funds came from an Alabama Department of Transportation grant, an Alabama Historic Records Advisory Board grant, and matching funds from the Limestone County Commission and the Friends of the Archives.
Changes included installing a fire suppression system, removing lead-based paint and stripping interior walls to the original wood, replacing exterior decks and rotting exterior structures and paneling, painting a new coat on the exterior, adding recessed lighting and insulation, replacing flooring tile in records storage areas, installing ultraviolet-blocking film on all windows, and installing humidity and temperature data recorders.