Marsh House

The Marsh House is at 308 N. Main St., LaFayette.

April 19, 2021, 6:00 pm, meeting by Zoom

Present: David Boyle, Josh Chapman, Connie Forester, Davene Nichols, Sharleen Robinson, (Fred Peacock, Mary McConnell, Joan Fowler by proxy). Proxies were to David Boyle.

David Boyle presided. The Minutes of the Marsh House Board of Trustees for March 15 were approved by consensus.

The Treasurer’s reports for March 2021 were received as attached to the meeting agenda notice. The balance in the Bank of La Fayette checking account at the end of February was $17,773.01 with income of $418.47 and expenses of $300.00. The balance of designated funds is $4,562.05. The endowment value is $36,859. The Clayton Bell Scholarship Reception received $1500 in donations.

Old business

♦ Marsh House east yard restoration. Almost complete after two years. Irrigation system still to be reinstalled.

♦ Azaleas will be planted around the newly established oak tree since the spot seems so bare. Approved by our arborist.

♦ Evolving Strategic plan. The list of goals and strategies was attached to the agenda. The next step is for each board member to rank each item in importance from 1 to 3 (with one being highest priority) before the next board meeting and more discussion. A community survey is also being passed out to visitors and supporters.

♦ Request relative to changing the use of the Welcome Center. No letter has been received from the county yet.

New business

Downtown La Fayette Planning Grant—Re envisioning downtown. A process of focus groups and surveys as well as task groups is being led by the UGA Carl Vinson Institute to determine what the community wants to see in downtown La Fayette over the coming years. Various workers from the Marsh House volunteer staff are participating. One of our goals would be to have paid staff at the Marsh House Museum.

Work area reports

♦ Administration/House management. Tours are available by appointment. There was a work day last Friday with 3 volunteers from the Day Reporting Center cleaned the house and moved everything off the back porch in preparation for the Tea and Tour).

♦ Interpretation/Events. Looking for several new docents. Spring events—Mother’s Day Tea on Saturday, May 8, and Art Show. See flyer. Help promote by buying tickets. We are fully staffed with minimal workers to allow social distancing.

♦ Clayton Bell Scholarship /Internship Program. Report sent by Virginia Rushing, coordinator. The fund-raising reception with reports from student Seth Weaver on his research project on the history of education in the La Fayette area was shared on Sunday, March 28, on Zoom. Contributions for the scholarships can still be mailed to PO Box 722 or given on the DONATE button on the Marsh House website. Applications for the Internship/Scholarship program have been sent to all high school counselors.

♦ Building and Grounds: Developing a list for next year with SPLOST Funds, beginning with exterior repainting, then interior plaster work and wall paper repair. UV window protection samples have been installed on two panes in Brother Precious’ room. Plans for enclosing the back porch to house the Gift Shop and an administrative desk will be developed for review by the board and partner agencies. It seems a fairly simple project. [Estimates are being received, about $2500). We are looking for a donation of a set of double wood doors. The historic preservation planner at NWGRC is being consulted about permissibility of the project relative to the National Register. Further discussion of reconfigured drainage on the south and a new walking path from street to street will be continued with various consultants.

♦ There was a discussion of how an article in the newsletter led to contact with a descendant of Spencer Marsh through Joseph John Marsh, the second son. We had not previously has contact with living descendants of this line.

♦ After some discussion, the date for Heritage Day was set for Saturday, September 18.


There was further discussion of the concepts for a Donate-A Brick Program. We now have a good supply of more modern bricks which could serve as pavers from the leftovers of the reconstructed wall by the west sidewalk. Thus, there may be no need to use the more fragile older bricks in a wall in order to use them. Also, Josh Chapman offered to donate about 100 bricks that he rescued from the demolished Marsh Mercantile Store (1836) on the square. Everyone agreed that we would like to use them in some way.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.

Next board meeting: Monday, May 17, 6:00 pm on Zoom.

Respectfully submitted,

David Boyle, Recording Secretary

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