Reporter: Ashley Singh l Videographer: Brian Vaughan
Martinsville, VA - An important building in Martinsville's history is now a place to go and learn about history. The former Henry County courthouse has been converted into a historical museum.
Historical society members have been working to save for years, and with the help of two large grants, they were able to do it.
Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society members Virginia and Mervyn King saw potential in the former courthouse.
"The roof had leaked for a number of years and so we had big holes in the ceilings and in the floors and plaster coming off the walls it was really in rough shape," said Virginia. "People who saw it back then thought it was a hopeless case but we could envision its beauty."
"It's been empty for pretty good while, 10 years or so and it was getting pretty run down inside," said Mervyn.
They say architects estimated that the restoration could cost anywhere from $1 million to $4 million.
"We're very proud that we were able to do everything we wanted to for around $200,000."
Debbie Hall, Executive Director of the museum, says they plan to use the site for meetings, weddings and mock trials for students. She says this building was once the center of public life, and the historical society wants it to become that, once again.
"We felt it could be an anchor for the uptown area and for Henry County and for a place to display history and to have meetings so people can come and bring back a little bit of its glory," said Hall.
The historical society hopes to bring more people to the area interested in heritage tourism.
To view photos or learn more about the Henry County Courthouse restoration, click here.