Area industry and businesses as well as many individuals helped secure the purchase of the building formerly owned by Regions Bank.
In December, officials with the Historical Society signed the paperwork purchasing the building which will be used as an interpretive center, small museum and visitor stop along the Civil War Trail, Tanasi Trail, the Trail of Tears and other historical distinctions of the community.
Lonza, formerly Arch Chemical, presented $500 to the CCHHS in support of the development of a heritage center in Charleston. Lonza is located in Charleston and has more than 300 employees. The Heritage Center is part of an overall heritage development plan to recognize the significant history on the banks of the Hiwassee River.
The property purchased recently by the Historical Society is on U.S. Highway 11 and formerly housed Regions Bank. The Heritage plan also includes a river park at the Hiwassee River and an interpretive greenway connecting the park with the Heritage Center.
Organizers say the concept of the project is to educate visitors and residents about the significant history of the area by providing an opportunity to walk where the Cherokee people walked and experience the land and water they loved.
“The project involves many partners and we have been fortunate to have positive responses from so many individuals, organizations and companies like Lonza. We are appreciative of their support,” said Faye Callaway, president of the Historical Society.
“Strong backs are needed now as we go into the renovation phase. Anyone willing to donate time and energy in the renovation of the Heritage Center which will benefit the community is greatly appreciated. We need carpenters, electricians and just volunteers with good strong backs.”
The society continues its fundraising to complete the new tasks at hand in outfitting the new Heritage Center with improvements and furnishings. For additional information, contact CCHHS at http://www.cchhistorical.org or Cleveland/ Bradley Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitors Bureau at 472-6587.