Archives, history specialist to speak

Published 7:01 pm Friday, September 9, 2011

A new speaker will talk about some old things.

The Lincoln County Historical and Genealogical Society will beginits fall programs on Monday at 6:30 p.m. with a presentation byTodd Sanders on historic buildings in Lincoln County with somediscussion concerning the preservation of such buildings. Sanderswill also take questions.

The society will host Sanders’ lecture at the Jimmy Furlow SeniorCitizen Center and invites the public to attend.

“There are lots of interesting buildings in Brookhaven,” said RitaRich, president of the society. “It should be veryinformative.”

The group’s secretary Marti Parker explained that Monday’s eventcould potentially answer some lingering questions concerningBrookhaven history.

“So many of the houses in Brookhaven, we know they are old houses,but we don’t know what time frame they are from,” Parkersaid.

Sanders’ presentation will not simply be about the past, but willnod to the future. He will discuss grant money and tax incentivesavailable to those restoring and refurbishing buildings with aclaim on historical value. Financial assistance does come withrestrictions and regulations as to the types and extent of changesthat can be made to historical structures and Sanders will explainsome of those rules.

Sanders comes well equipped for the topics at hand. He has workedin the Historic Preservation Division of the state Department ofArchives and History since 1992. At present his holds the post oftax incentives coordinator. Sanders also teaches night classes atMillsaps College.

Parker arranged for Sanders to speak in Brookhaven and can attestto his expertise in the area he will speak on. She has taken two ofhis Millsaps’ classes, both on Southern architecture. She explainedthat Sanders employed photographs of buildings and architecturalelements in the class lectures and will likewise be using aprojector during Monday’s event to highlight certain things.

“He used the photos to identify key elements and what they lookedlike,” Parker said.

As evidenced by the classes she took from Sanders, Parker describedherself as very interested in Mississippi history. It wasn’t alwaysthat way, though.

“I hated history classes in high school,” Parker said.

Her love of history took root later on. Now she can demonstrate aneasy command of local history by describing how the city’s downtownwas once located on First Street toward Highway 84 until it wasmoved in the 1850s to its current location because of therailroad.

Monday’s topic will hit home for one local resident, developerJohnny Lynch. Lynch is currently restoring and converting what waspreviously the Progressive Men’s Store on Whitworth Avenue into theInn on Whitworth.

Lynch contrasted today’s building methods with those of the past inexplaining his interest in restoration.

“When you see a metal building go up within 30 days, it justdoesn’t have the same long lasting characteristics and traits ofthe workmanship of the old buildings,” Lynch said. “They caredabout the aesthetics of what they built.”