BLADENBORO — Members of the Bladenboro Historical Society are hoping to add to the former school’s curb-side appeal, and recently finished some much-needed landscaping around the front of the building.
Like all projects by the society, the work was paid for by individual donations from residents who were offered the opportunity to purchase a crepe myrtle and have a concrete boulder placed in front of it in honor or memory of someone. So far, four people or groups have taken advantage of the opportunity to help beautify the former school building.
— The Bladenboro Military Museum group donated a tree in honor of military personnel
— An individual wanted to honor Charles Allen Sr. and Charles Allen Jr. for their work at Bladenboro High School
— The Charles Herring family memorialized Charles and Margaret Herring
— Loree Long and Gilbert Yarborough Sr. were honored by their family
Billy Wells donated his time and equipment to plant the large flowering trees.
The trees planted in front of the building were just a start on beautification work the society hopes to continue. Bobby Ludlum, president of the Military Museum housed in the building, said, “There are other plans in the works, depending on finances, but this is one we wanted to do right away and put a little life outside the building.”
A committee was formed about one year ago to work on drawing up plans for an overhaul of the landscaping around the 1917 building. Eddie Walters, chairman, Graham Yarborough, Charles Ray Peterson and Marjorie Bridger were tasked with the job. They contracted Bruce McLean to draw up plans, but could not afford to complete the entire job.
“We will phase in the entire landscaping of the historical building itself,” Walters said. “We haven’t decided the next step, but we will be doing additional planting of shrubs and following the design of the plan. We’re still at the beginning stages.”
“I don’t know how far we’ll go or how much we’ll do, but this is the first step, and we plan to take other steps,” he added.
They would like to do some landscaping around the front steps and around a fountain located in the front yard of the building. The fountain is currenly inoperable. They also want to dress up the area around the military monument.
The entire landscaping project would affect numerous groups, as many museums call the building home. Housed in the building are a large center meeting area that is rented to community, a kitchen, a craft museum, an art gallery that displays local artists’ work on a rotating basis, the Town of Bladenboro museum, a geneology museum, the Bladenboro School museum, a military museum, a family life museum, and a trophy room that houses all trophies given to Bladenboro High School. All are voluntarily staffed and are open on weekends from 2 to 4 p.m.
Additionally, the building is used as a polling center at election time.
Anyone wishing to help with the beautification project can call the Bladenboro Historical Society at 910-863-4707 weekdays between 10 a.m. and noon.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 862-4163.