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AAC F A M I L Y & F R I E N D S CALHOUN COUNTY


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Above: The Calhoun County Libary is housed in the Hampton Masonic Lodge Building.


Right: The lodge, the only two-story building in downtown Hampton, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Bottom Right: Sallie Lou Wilson was the Calhoun County Libary’s first librarian.


Calhoun County restores lodge with AHPP help Story by Mark Christ


Photography by Holly Hope Arkansas Historic Preservation Program


n addition to working with Calhoun County at the court- house, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program has as- sisted in the restoration of the Hampton Masonic Lodge Building, which the county has used to expand its library and to house a county museum. Te Hampton Masonic Lodge Building was constructed some- time between 1918 and 1923 and, outside of the courthouse, it is the only two-story building in downtown Hampton. With its al- ternating bands of buff and yellow bricks and diagonally oriented bricks on the second floor, it is the most elaborate commercial building on a row of one-story brick storefronts. Te building originally housed a Masonic hall on the second floor and a num- ber of businesses and doctors’ offices on the first. Te Calhoun County Library was founded in 1959 and was located in a room in the county courthouse before moving to a one-story building adjacent to the Masonic Lodge in 1966. Sal- lie Lou Wilson was the original librarian, and she served in that capacity until 1981. After her death, Ms. Wilson left a generous bequest for the library that has helped to finance the expansion. Te Hampton Masonic Lodge Building was listed on the Na- tional Register of Historic Places on May 20, 2008, making it eli-


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gible for grant funding through the AHPP’s Historic Preservation Restoration Grant program, since it is owned by the county. Te AHPP awarded a $29,867 grant in 2009 for roof and window restoration and a $20,000 grant in 2015 for masonry restoration. Librarian Allison Stevens said the library, which is now open 20 hours per week, will be eligible for additional funding from the state since she has a master’s degree in library science so they are looking forward to more service hours, additional books and increased automation at the library. Te second floor of the building is being prepared to house a Calhoun County museum. County Judge Floyd Nutt said that a board is being formed to guide the museum’s de- velopment. Te museum already has its first arti- facts


incorporated into


the space: windows from the old Tinsman School, which was demolished several years ago, have been placed in the walls overlooking the staircase to the second floor.


COUNTY LINES, SUMMER 2015


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