Historical Society Announces Heritage House Award
While the highlight was undoubtedly the presentation of a new Heritage House Award bestowed upon John and Angie Healy for their renovation of the Funkhouser-Pomeroy home at 214 West Main, Society President David Brown certainly got things off to a solid start. Of the several tables of attendees, it’s of typical interest how the president chooses which tables will dine first. Mr. Brown, in his infinite wisdom, noting that it’s a Historical Society Dinner, turned the task into a competition challenging all in attendance to earn their right, by table, to get in line and fill their plates.
Questions included the technical name of the Rest Area east of Grayville, which is Skeeter Mountain, the counties that collar White, the official namesake of the Burnt Prairie interstate exit, what year the Enfield Horror was first sited, the Crossville school mascot, and the location of the first coal mine in White County, which was Norris City.
Brown also talked of the importance the Society provides to the community and gave some stark numbers, opining that while the organization is in good financial standing now, it’s nearing crisis.
“It is the responsibility of the members of the community, by birth or by residency, to keep the history of White County alive. Everyday, we lose some of our history. It’s hard to stop the march of time, obsolescence and decay.” He spoke of the calls he received from community members upset over the demolition of Big Prairie Church and the Carmi Theater and said his response sadly had to be that the Society would need more money and more members just to keep the properties they have in acceptable condition and were therefore not in a position to step in and take on additional properties. Brown says the White County Historical Society is currently burning through it’s reserves to the tune of $11,000 per year and at that rate, the organization will be “broke” in 18 years. Unfortunately, membership is dwindling. His plea was to ask members to circulate membership applications to their family and friends as well as encourage current members to consider upping their membership.
Following dinner, John Healy showed slides and gave a personal, impassioned portrayal of the home’s transformation from the time of purchase in 2014 to current. The Funkhouser-Pomeroy home was built somewhere around 1890 and thanks to the Healy’s, now has a new lease on life.