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Tour the Old Courthouse Saturday
Plaque Program Underway
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Tour courthouse image
Columbus County has a rich collection of historic homes and buildings, and members of the Reuben Brown House Preservation Society (RBHPS) are celebrating the county’s heritage through the RBHPS Plaque Program.

"We invite you to share the history of your historic site (home, business, church, cemetery, tobacco barn, etc.) by purchasing a custom-made historic plaque for display at your site,” said Janice Young, president of the RBHPS. "This program is sponsored by the Reuben Brown House Preservation Society and its purpose is to raise awareness of Columbus County’s history, its unique silvicultural and agricultural heritage, and to encourage its preservation. Your historic site need not be an officially designated landmark or within an historic district to participate in the RBHPS Plaque Program.”

Tour courthouse image2Young said the program is voluntary, and participation in no way impacts or restricts a participant’s property rights or potential modifications to the site. The program is focused primarily on building exteriors, so buildings will not be inspected to verify their eligibility. At some point in the future, Young said, the program hopes of offer public tours of Columbus County’s historic areas and properties.

A tour of the 100-year-old Columbus County Courthouse has already been planned for Saturday, March 28 from 10 a.m. until noon.

Paul Bonsall, the architect whose firm, Ware Bonsall Architects of Charlotte has been procured to oversee the renovation of the old courthouse will be present. He will discuss the history of the courthouse and efforts to create a modern facility, yet preserve the sanctity of the courthouse’s heritage.

The public is invited to take the tour, which will begin at the front of the building on Madison Street.

The Reuben Brown House was the first place to get a plaque. It was unveiled by County Commission Chairman Trent Burroughs Feb. 19, a cold, blustery day but fires in both fireplaces in the Reuben Brown House warmed up participants as they enjoyed refreshments during a reception after the unveiling.

Plaque requirements
Tour courthouse image3To be eligible for a Columbus County Historic Plaque, a site must meet the following criteria:
  • be at least 75 years old;
  • be located in the County of Columbus;
  • retain its original character;
  • be in a good state of preservation;
  • contribute to the historical or architectural nature of the county.
At the discretion of the RBHPS Plaque Review Committee, limited exceptions may be made for sites of extraordinary architectural or historical significance.

To apply for a plaque, complete an application available through the Reuben Brown

House Preservation Society. "Please make an effort to be as thorough as possible, as this will assist the Plaque Review Committee in reviewing the information on your property,” Young said. "A sample completed application is available upon request.”

Application forms and more information about applying for the Plaque Program, including research resources, are available at the Columbus Chamber and Tourism office at the Madison and Walter streets intersection in downtown Whiteville.

Article and Images Courtesy of and as Published March 23, 2015 in The News Reporter www.Whiteville.com

The Reuben Brown House Preservation Society is an IRS Code 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Contributions to the RBHPS are fully tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.

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Whiteville, NC 28472