Society up to something all year round
ASHS Column for 01 11 07
Jerry Simmons

Another year has passed and it’s already time for The Alger-Sullivan Historical Society’s Annual Meeting Tuesday, January 16, 2007. The Leach House will open at about 5 p.m., so come early and visit with one another. The dinner will begin at about 6 p.m. Each member is asked to bring a covered dish. Kay Ross is organizing the dinner, so contact Kay to let her know what you’re bringing. The cost of the dinner will be what you choose to donate to the Society in addition to your dues.

The president will give a Yearly Report and hold election of officers. Our guest speaker is Denise Daughtry of Pensacola. Denise resides in the Historic District in Pensacola, and is a former member of the Board of West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. She is currently president of a project for tourist promotion in Pensacola called Winterfest. She is an outspoken proponent of historic preservation and encourages others to join her in her quest to preserve the past.

The nominating committee will present a slate of officers for President; Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Nominations may be made from the floor provided the nominee has given their assent.

The new or reelected president will outline the Society’s plans for 2007.

Please come early, pay your dues ($5.00 per person annually, payable in January; $100.00 per person for Lifetime membership) and take a look at the new displays and photos, and the Afghans, books, coffee mugs, and other items on sale. Remember, visitors and friends are welcome! We look forward to seeing you there.

It’s not possible to single out any one person who worked the hardest or had the most effect on the society’s success, because it’s a team effort. Just know that your efforts don’t go unnoticed and are appreciated. We are grateful for significant financial donations throughout the year, too. If not for the generosity of folks, some with their time and others with their sponsorship, it would prove very difficult to survive. We are in this together "To protect the future by preserving the past."

Prominent visitors graced our halls during the year, some of whom we know are direct descendants of prominent residents such as Dr. Sam Turberville, Mrs. McNiel and others. There are many still living here in Century, and it’s a treat for us to welcome these people, too.

The Society is not a static organization. In other words, we’re up to something all year round. Here is a review of 2006, not necessarily in order of importance or date:

* We erected signs on US 29, Highway 4, and at the east end of Hecker Road pointing the way to the historical society.
* Participated in the Flomaton Antique Auction with modest financial success and a lot of hard work; we also participated in Munson’s Heritage Days.
* Began the Memorial brick walkway with the first brick engraved for Gloria Briggs, whom we lost in 2006. The choices for location and construction for the walkway are yet undetermined.
* Field trips to Santa Rosa County’s Coon Hill Cemetery and the Winding River Road; and to the Civil War Expo in Bay Minette. These were memorable experiences and a lot of fun for the participants.
* Our most ambitious project ever, the Old 100 grant, was approved and $75,000.00 was sent to WVRR by the end of December. Things are in motion to get the engine in town possibly by February. The Town of Century and the Escambia County Commission gave lots of help in preparing the area for display of Old 100. The Town of Century was particularly helpful in providing manpower and equipment and the county provided trucks and fill.
* CSX began a process to donate tracks, ties, and hardware to build track for the engine and boxcar. The Town of Century is donating men and equipment to transport the material from CSX.
* Our website gained momentary local notoriety by being a clue in the Fiesta of Five Flags treasure hunt.
* A special thank you is due Ann Williamson of the Tri-City Ledger for getting space for us both for the columns and for advertisements. Pensacola News-Journal exposure was superb, thanks to Seldon Pierce.
* A new roof was put on the Post Office (insurance claim) because of 2004-2005 hurricane damage; the Leach House roof was replaced because of age, thanks to Franklin Graham’s ministry, spearheaded in our area by Rev. Stallworth of New Life Baptist Church.
* The National Black Caucus Title 5 program was started with two employees.
* We conducted tours for the Leisure Learning group from the University of West Florida and an 8 th grade class from Carver-Century Middle School besides all the personal tours.
* UWF graduate students examined, recorded and moved old ASLC records to UWF for permanent storage.
* Two class reunions and a family reunion were held at the park.
* The monthly meeting time is changed to 6 pm and seems to be acceptable by everyone
* We had successful events in April and in November; well-attended.
* Kay Ross was appointed as Refreshment Hostess and Dianne Simmons elected secretary after Jeanine Johnson asked to be replaced in these positions.
* Dr. Kelly Reynolds gave a wonderful portrayal of the life of Henry Plant, in connection with the Florida Humanities Council’s "Roads Scholars" program.
* We had lots of other great speakers and programs, as usual.
* We lost our insurance in August and had lots of trouble finding an insurer. We did get liability coverage in October.
* The membership voted to make J.R. Phillips an honorary member of Alger-Sullivan Historical Society.
* A grist mill was donated by the Johnson/Simmons family – it was demonstrated at two events after being meticulously cleaned by Neal Collier.
* We gained these new members: Paul and Maxine Louviere, Richard Brosnaham, Bob and Ann McGoun, Judson Carden, Nancy Fetterman, Devon Jordan, Dianne Simmons, Roger and Ellen Vinson, Melinda Watson-Conner, Robert Page. Welcome to you all!
* Had a visitor count in excess of 1000.
* Jerry Simmons officially appointed Curator.
* Sent applications to Florida Department of Historical Resources for two grants, one to continue with restoration of Old 100 and the other to assist in operating expenses.
* We were saddened by the loss of members and supporters who passed away in 2006, including Gloria Briggs, Corrie Carter, Carlton Franklin, Felicia Everett, Phyllis Newton, and Juanita Nelson.

There’s more work to be done in 2007 and we still need everyone to offer their talents and help us maintain the standard of excellence established over the last few years.

On April 21, 2007 our annual birthday party, the anniversary of the naming of Century, will get under way with more entertainment and socializing – great fun and food - so join us to celebrate the springtime and this great little community – what it’s meant to so many people as a source of pride can’t be measured. Let’s work to restore that pride in the community and preserve the work started over 106 years ago!

Y’all come see us.

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This page last modified on Wednesday, January 17, 2007