The Banks County Historical Society was recently awarded a $6,000 grant by the Athens chapter of the Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board to help with repairs for the historic jail.

The Banks County Historical Society is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the preservation of our county’s rich history. The society currently operates a history museum in the Historic Courthouse.

"We are now in the process of documenting the way life would have been for the sheriff of Banks County in the early part of our county’s history through a museum in the Historic Jail," Mellisa states. "This grant will help to start the preservation process in the jail."

Created in September of 2007 and based out of the T.R.R. Cobb House in Athens, the Athens chapter is one of three chapters of the Watson-Brown Junior Board of Trustees. This board is made up of local high school students who are interested in historic preservation.

Each Junior Board chapter awards up to $33,000 in grants annually to worthwhile preservation projects in their respective coverage areas. The Athens chapter’s coverage area includes Banks, Hall, Habersham, Stephens, Franklin, Hart, Madison, Jackson, Barrow, Walton, Oconee, Clarke, Oglethorpe, and Greene counties. The students who comprise the Junior Board evaluate the grant proposals and determine the funding for each.

The Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc. supports historic preservation in part through its Junior Board of Trustees, whose exclusive mission is to preserve local history. This educational initiative fosters civic responsibility, heightens an appreciation of local history, and introduces the students to the world of philanthropy. The stated mission of the Athens-Area Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board of Trustees is “to seek out historic preservation opportunities in Northeast Georgia. These opportunities, aligned with education, include but are not limited to, historic projects and organizations to preserve the past for future generations.”

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