Help needed to maintain Boyds archives
April 28, 2004
Kristen Milton
Staff Writer

Boyds residents received a call to action April 15 at the quarterly meeting of the Boyds Civic Association.

Eskin Huff, president of the Boyds Historical Society, told the approximately 30 attendees that he was looking for help, both "financially and physically," in making better use of the Boyds Negro School and the society's archives.

The historical society has shrunk in recent years and no longer meets regularly, so it is in need of volunteers to help staff the school and sort and preserve its records.

Huff already has some people willing to spend a couple of hours on summer Saturdays manning the school but would like to have more.

"It's my feeling that Boyds is very special historically," Huff said. "I think this is a very valuable thing for the community."

Boyds Negro School served students from 1895 to 1936 before being converted into a private home. It has been restored to its probable appearance in about 1900. Through grants and donations the school has been equipped with climate controls and fireproof file cabinets for storing the society's collection of newspaper articles, photographs, and audio and videotapes.

Those interested in volunteering can contact Huff at

Funding the fight

Some members expressed concern over the association's financial investment in the fight against a possible truck depot.

"We don't have a lot; are we making promises that will put us in debt?" association secretary Maggie Bartlett asked. "I wonder how much residents should be putting into this."

President Melissa Foster and past president Del Lamiman said they interpreted the unanimous resolution adopted June 30 opposing the depot as authorization to spend association money on the project. Foster said at least $2,000 has been spent thus far.

Future expenses may or may not be shared with the town of Barnesville, which is considering the association's request to apply for a rezoning for the property owned by C.W. Wright, the electrical utility company considering a depot near the intersection of Bucklodge and Barnesville roads. The groups' attorneys met April 13 to discuss the issues.

"I think we will get the support from Barnesville we are looking for," Foster said April 15. "There will be fees involved and we're discussing how that will be handled."

Barnesville mayor Peter Menke said the town's commissioners voted unanimously April 19 to pursue downzoning the Wright property "because of the tremendous adverse traffic situation that's going to be presented."

"We have a responsibility to take care of any situation that we believe will adversely affect our citizens and we really believe this will," Menke said Monday.

Menke said the financial commitment of the town was still unclear. "[Boyds Civic Association] will be giving us a lot of assistance," he said.

Future expenses may be handled with donations from area residents giving to a fund set up for the purpose, Boyds association leaders said. Association attorney Bill Chen may also be asked to speak to the group membership at a future meeting.