Waynesboro library expanding, museum opening 2019

WAYNE COUNTY, Miss. - The following is a press release from Waynesboro-Wayne County Library.

The newly renovated 10,000 square foot project began five years ago spearheaded by the Waynesboro-Wayne County Board of Trustees and Library Director Patsy C. Brewer.

Located in a former Walmart building adjacent to the 17,000 square foot public library, Transportation Grant funds from MDOT were awarded in the amount of $560,000.00, followed by a match of $56,000.00 from the Waynesboro City Board of Aldermen and $56,000.00 from the Wayne County Board of Supervisors starting the project in 2010.

A contractor was selected by a competitive bid process, Southeastern Contracting from Hattiesburg, and Maggie Bjorgum from Belinda Stewart Architects of Eupora was selected as the project architect.

As the renovation project progressed additional funding was granted by Southern Transportation Commissioner Tom King. Library Director Patsy C. Brewer also submitted a Small Municipalities Grant to the Mississippi Development Authority which was funded for $150,000.00.

The completion of Phase I includes a train depot design based on the former Waynesboro Train Depot as well as 15 pavilions for historical items and displays.

The newly renovated Friends of the Library Whistle Stop Bookstore, which has doubled in size, and will reopen on March 31 as the ONLY bookstore/gift shop in a public library in the State of Mississippi.

Although there are no artifacts or exhibits in the museum at this time, an 8 wheel Lindsey Log Wagon, patented in 1899, was donated to the museum as it was being renovated due to its large size and is currently on display.

To our knowledge there are only three Lindsey Log Wagons in the State of Mississippi. One in Laurel and the other one at the MS Agriculture Museum in Jackson.

The U.S. military in France used Lindsey log wagons during World War I, for hauling heavy armor and equipment. After the Armistice, the company received an Award of Merit from the U.S. War Department for “distinguished service; the loyalty, energy and efficiency in the performance of war work by which Lindsey Wagon Company aided materially in obtaining victory for the arms of the United States of America.

Phase II of the project will include collecting artifacts and building exhibits. In the meantime the library staff has been visiting other museums in the state such as the McComb Railroad Museum, the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, the MS Museum of Art in Jackson, the MS AG Museum, the Smith Robertson African American Museum, the Camp Shelby Museum, The Lauren Rogers Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Art, and others to gather information and display ideas.

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