Spruce Pine museum project under way

SPRUCE PINE – The Spruce Pine Historical Society is one step closer to reaching its goal of having a historical museum.
The group has acquired an old store building in which the museum will be housed.
Linda South said Jim and Joy Scharnagel recently donated the oldest store building in the community so it can become the home of the Spruce Pine Museum.
“We are very excited about the museum,” South said. “We plan to fully restore the building to its original state.”
South said the deed was acquired by the group last week, and work on the building will begin this week.
“Work will begin Thursday on the building,” South said.
The store is the second building donated to the group.
Last year, the community center building was donated by Charles Taylor.
“We got the building in August, and it was ready by Spruce Pine Day in October,” president JoAnn Gandy said.
“We are very excited about this second building.”
Gandy said in addition to the restoration of the building and the completion of the museum, the group hopes a picnic area can be added to the outside to make it nice for schools to come visit.
“We want to have the history of Franklin County and the area here, not just Spruce Pine. We want this to be a place where students can come to visit in order to make history come alive,” Gandy said.
Gandy and South estimate that it will take $25,000 to restore and complete the museum.
“We will have fundraisers and other events to raise money for this project,” Gandy said.
Gandy said Probate Judge Barry Moore, Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow and Sen. Roger Bedford have been very supportive of the efforts made by the historical society to preserve the area’s history for future generations.
“They  have been very, very supportive, and we can’t thank them enough,” Gandy said.