Courthouse Has New Life as Museum

Published 06/01 2012 11:56AM

Updated 06/01 2012 05:57PM

EFFINGHAM -- This old courthouse will soon be a museum. Renovations just started about two months ago.
    The Effingham County Cultural and Museum Association expects it to be done in 2014. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau got a sneak peak inside.
    "We are going to tell the story of Effingham County and we're going to use transportation as a central theme."
    That's what you can expect out of this space. What was once a courthouse, will soon be a place for history.
    "We are proud of our history."
    So, here's the plan on the first floor.
    "The Veteran's Memorial Room, Introduction Room, so when visitors come, we can show the DVDs that relate to the history of the area. And then we'll have two rooms devoted to railroads."
    The museum hopes to have that done by November of this year. Then, they'll begin work on phase two.
    "We're also going to focus on the railroads and we're going to deal with the social history related to railroads."
    The second floor will be used for displays during the day, and will be open for lectures or weddings at night.
    "We took down the ceiling and we didn't know how large this dome was."
    The dome will be illuminated with lights to make it look like the original clock-tower.
    "We're trying best as we can to show people what it was like in 1870."
    The third floor will mostly be office space and an art gallery. Donaldson says he expects about 12,000 people to visit the museum annually. He believes construction will cost more than $2 million.

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