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Grant aids in repairs to museum

The cherished boyhood home of Georgiana native Hank Williams, Sr. has received a few much-needed repairs.

The Hank Williams, Sr. Boyhood Home and Museum recently received a grant to repair many parts of the house that had fallen into decay over the past few years. Since the museum is on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage (ARL&H), the City of Georgiana decided to search and apply for grants that would help restore the home to its former glory.

“Ann Browder, Georgiana City Clerk, did all the paper work, provided in detail all information required – this included getting three bids from contractors that did this kind of work,” said Margaret Gaston, museum curator. “The lowest bidder was Buster Scruggs of Georgiana, who owns Scruggs Construction Company.”

The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) is a state agency charged with safeguarding Alabama’s historic buildings and sites. The AHC disperses grants to museums across the state in order to maintain their historic accuracy and to help ensure the upkeep of historic museums, parks and more.

“For a building to qualify for this there are requirements such as the age of the structure, whether or not it is in original condition, if there have been additions, if so what, who built it, what was it used for and other questions,” said Gaston. “This museum was placed on ARL&H in 1999, I believe.”

According the AHC website, this grant is part of the AHC 2015 Capital Enhancement Grants Program. AHC accepts grant applications for capital enhancements to non-state owned or operated historical properties and sites. Local historical sites and parks operated by non-profit or tax exempt organization and county or municipal governments were eligible. The grants were awarded so that grant recipients reflect the geographical diversity of the state.

The City of Georgiana applied for the Capital Enhancement Grants Program, which gave the city the possibility to earn $10,000 to help repair the museum. After repair estimates were done, the city received $5,500. The Georgiana City Council voted to pay the remaining amount of $8,300 for the repairs to the house, since the building is owned by the City of Georgiana. With these funds, the museum was able to get a new roof, new insulated windows and insulation installed in the attic.

“The repairs are done now, and we’re proud of it,” said Browder. “If something had not been done to do these repairs, the museum wouldn’t have been there long. And that would have hurt the economy.”