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Auction's target to move historic home

POSTED: November 24, 2010 10:35 a.m.
Photo by Patty Leon/

Sheela Eichhorn puts a bid in on some of the items.

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Looking to preserve the historical properties and legacy of sites within Liberty County the Liberty Cultural and Historic Association hosted a silent auction Friday night at the old Liberty County jail.
The event raised funds for the preservation and relocation of the old Mills House currently located on Highway 84 and Memorial Drive. The house was recently donated to the Midway Museum by Osteen and Osteen law firm but it will take approximately $60K to move the house and $90K to bring the structure up to code.
Donated books, jewelry and art and crafts were displayed throughout the old jail, allowing people to stroll through the collection and list their bids. The event coincided with the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority’s Holiday Open House, during which area merchants welcomed patrons with holiday treats and decorated stores.
The auction was catered by Occasions Catering and Event Services so bidders could nibble on hors d’ oeuvres while walking through the historic jail which serves as the HDDA office.
“The mission of the association is to benefit local preservation activities and the current project that the money will be dedicated toward is the moving expenses of the Mills House,” HDDA Director Vicki Davis said.
She said the association planned the silent auction, “And then we held it at the same time the downtown partners have their retail holiday open houses so we had that synergy in the downtown area on the same evening.”
Christi Wheeler graduated from Savannah College of Arts and Design with a major in fine arts emphasizing historic preservation. The Dryden Enterprises employee joined the association in 2009 and said this was their second silent auction fundraiser.
She was one of the event’s organizers.
Wheeler said that while the Mills House is the current project, there are other preservation projects in need of funding in the county. More events are being planned, she said, to raise money for those as well.
“We were originally a county-organized group brought in to do a survey,” she said. “And we had so many people coming to us and asking for help with preservation projects… The county-organized group did not have the ability to raise funds. So we formed the association as kind of a sub-committee to raise funds for preservation projects.”
Wheeler said she grew up in a historic home that dates back to the late 1800s early 1900s era. Her parents, Claude and Loretta Dryden, preserved and remodeled the home. The building that houses Dryden Enterprise was another of her parents’ preservation projects. That building was once the house of Charlton Hines for whom Hinesville is named after.
She said hosting a silent auction in a historic building was appropriate for the cause.
“I love all kinds of art,” she said. “I appreciate art in general so this was kind of tying both things in, art and history and I think they are related. It brings the culture of the community together.”
Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission employee Rachel Hatcher said organizers still had to tally all the bids, but said early estimates are that the auction raised around $4,000.

 

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