(c) 2000, by Mary Jean Hall, Scotland, Arkansas
The preservation of historical sites and buildings is important not only to us but also to future generations. We have museums to hold the articles of our past, so why not preserve the buildings themselves. The old buildings must be preserved because of the part they played in the growth of the communities.
For example, the Scotland community worked together to build the new school in 1925. The timber was donated by local citizens and sawed by the local sawmills. Bob O'Neal was the contractor and was assisted by Mr. Wiggens.
Children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren have graduated from the same school. The school was built because their ancestors knew that if they want their children to receive the best education, they needed a modern school. The importance of their choice is reflected in the ad for the 1926-27 school year which reads:
"Scotland Rural High School Is Announcing The School Year of 1926-27. The school term opens Monday September 20, offering a full four-year, or twelve grade course. Special courses in Music will be given and Literary and Athletic Contests will be encouraged. All work done fully accredited by State Department of Education. Splendid new high school building, modern in every respect and equipped to meet all requirements. Tuition from $1.50 to $2.50 the month. Good board in best private families can be had at $12.50 the month. Prepare yourself for life, by securing a High School Education. For further information address W.E. Burnett, Supt. Scotland, Arkansas."
This new school was good for the community because not only did the local students attend, but also students came from other communities to attend this new modern school. This increased attendance meant more money was spent in town.
Preservation of historical buildings and sites is not a new idea and we should follow the lead of early preservationists. In 1860, Ann Pamela Cunningham of South Carolina, thought that the home of our first President, George Washington, should be preserved.
Through a series of letters "To The Ladies of the South," money was raised to put down a payment on Mount Vernon. In February of 1860, George Washington's Mount Vernon home became the property of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association. Because of Ann Pamela Cunningham, George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, is open today for the tourists to see.
Preservation is like a clock, for when it stops ticking time is lost, and when preservation stops, the building are lost. We cannot regain the lost time, nor can we replace the buildings when they are lost. When the old buildings are gone, they are gone forever. We cannot turn back the clock nor can we put the building back together. The old buildings must be preserved for the future generations to see.