ABERDEEN – Lasting accomplishments of Save Aberdeen Landmarks include major renovations of the M&O Depot and the Kimmel Bakery building. During a recent community meeting at the historic James Creek M.B. Church, the nonprofit’s chairman Dwight Stevens said a new phase of the organization is beginning.
“We really need to restart on this. When we first started, we did memberships, and I raffled off a car. I discovered we don’t need to start anything new. We need to continue what we’ve done,” he said.
Save Aberdeen Landmarks has taken on Acker Park as a project, and the former Phoenix Drugstore, commonly known as the Green Building, downtown is another ongoing project. Trees were recently sawed down from the inside of the neglected building.
The integrity of the building remains a concern for neighboring Main Street business owners.
“Four or five years ago, a construction engineer was hired, and he said we had two to three years before we’d have the same thing that happened in Okolona, and that’s why we’re concerned,” said Henry Hammack, whose business, Henry’s, is next door.
A storm toppled two downtown Okolona buildings in 2015, and a third one was damaged. According to Stevens, a divider wall was removed from the Phoenix building years ago, which weakened its structure.
A number of citizens attended the meeting and elected by nomination new members to SAL’s board of directors. To fill vacancies formerly held by Marsha Ballard, Mike Smith and the late Walter Lann and Patsy Claxton, those present appointed Marianne Butler, Pat Spicer, Jerri Stacey and Faith West to the board.
“I think we’re doing something good, and this town needs productive people. People say, ‘They’re doing good,’ but we need everybody to do a little,” Stevens said.
Annual membership for Save Aberdeen Landmarks is $120. For more information, check out www.saveaberdeenlandmarks.org or 369-2200.