Ripley Main Steet

Do you love your small town? There’s so much to love about living in a small town. It’s really the simple things that make living in a small town great. The atmosphere, the people, the memories, all of it.  I find that living in a small town gives you a sense of belonging, brings you closer to the community and allows you to spend more time with the people who matter.

Many people are moving out of the metropolitan areas, which once emptied out the small towns, and returning to their roots. Some come back to these towns to raise their children. I am one example of many people who left a bigger city to return home and raise a family. Some people just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life; here they join those who never left.

What is so special about these towns? What is it that people remember?  What is small town character? There is no one item that defines it.

Not only do small towns hold fond memories, they serve as a touchstone for modern living. In fact, numerous “new urbanist” downtown developments are designed to replicate the features of small-town America. What can residents do to save their small-town character? Reinvestment and revitalizing main streets are the most significant economic-development programs most communities can undertake.  In examples across the world, it is shown that successful city revitalization results from activities that are preservation-based.

I recently attended a historic preservation meeting about the effects it can have on small town communities. The history of a community contributes to its personality. Preserving the history of a place through its significant historic resources gives a community its unique character. Historic preservation provides a link to the roots of the community and its people. Overall, historic preservation adds to the quality of life making for a more livable community.

Historic preservation helps keep communities beautiful, vibrant and livable, and gives people a stake in their surroundings. It connects people with their past and with one another. History is a great educator and coming to know the history of a community and its historical sites gives an individual a sense of belonging and community pride. The design and construction of old structures tell us much about the cultures that created them and about the traditions and events from which our society grew.

Historic preservation involves much more than simply saving and restoring old buildings and sites of historic importance. There are economic, cultural, environmental and educational benefits of historic preservation, all of which are connected to one another. Restoring buildings, rather than building new ones or demolishing existing ones, is environmentally responsible.  It is usually more environmentally friendly to rehabilitate existing structures and maintain and improve existing infrastructure than to simply destroy and replace them.

I love our historic small town and I would love to see all of our downtown buildings being used and renovated. If you have an interest in historic preservation and would like to be involved in the community planning process, then I would suggest joining our Historic Preservation Committee or become a volunteer. Please contact Elizabeth at Main Street for more information atripleymainstreet@gmail.com  or 662-512-0226.

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