The Watson-Brown Foundation's Junior Board began awarding historic preservation grants on Friday, Oct. 21. This year's grant recipients are: Jefferson County Historical Society for the publication of a history book on Louisville, Ga., Washington-Wilkes County Historical Museum for exhibition labels and the conservation of a Confederate banner, Lincoln County Historical Society for the relocation and preservation of a historic grist mill, and the Historic Wrightsboro Foundation in McDuffie County for continuing the beautification of the Wrightsboro Cemetery.
"We have given money to (the Wrightsboro Foundation) for the past two years, because there's just so much more history in it that affects so much more than just our part of the state," said Lauren Brown, a senior at Briarwood Academy and president of the Junior Board.
Sam Gaston, member of the Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board of Trustees, presented Leroy Lewis, Faraji Prator, Mayor Byron Burt, and Ruby Gamble, of the Louisville HIstorical Society with a check for $3,195 on Friday, Oct. 21.
Because the Wrightsboro Foundation owns property that was settled by Quakers from New Jersey, and the Historic Rock House, which is the home of ancestors of former President Jimmy Carter, Miss Brown said more people can ‚Äúreach back to that, so it stretches so much further."
Two years ago, The Wrightsboro Foundation used their grant money from the Junior Board to repair gravestones and clean up the Wrightsboro Cemetery. This year, the Wrightsboro award is for $600 to install water lines which will run from the well to the Wrightsboro Church for installation of a sprinkler system for landscaping along the entrance to the area. A split-rail fence will also be installed to decorate and help protect the now plain entrance.
Michelle Zupan, curator for Hickory Hill, said Epp Wilson assists in these projects with the Wrightsboro Cemetery by matching the grants and spearheading the work projects.
‚ÄúThe kids like to keep some of the funding in McDuffie County, and the Wrightsboro Foundation is such a natural project for them to assist with," Ms. Zupan said.
The grant will be presented at 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 7, at Hickory Hill. The Junior Board of Trustees for the Watson-Brown Foundation awards $25,000 in grants annually to worthwhile preservation projects in the Central Savannah River Area. The Board is made up of local high school students, who meet monthly to discuss grants for preservation. They conduct pre-grant inquiries, research, and site visits.
‚ÄúIt's definitely a major learning experience, because it's a board that we have total control over, yet we have guidance if we need it," Miss Brown said. ‚ÄúMost boards you get on as a high school student affects only you, the club you're in or the extra-curricular activity. But with this, we can affect so many more people‚Ä¶we have an effect on history somewhat, because historical preservation lasts‚Ä¶Personally, I've learned a lot from this board, not only about the projects we've done, but about philanthropy also."