City council to consider historic markers

By BUSTER WOLFE,

The Hattiesburg City Council is expected to consider placing historic markers around the Hub City at its next meeting on Aug. 21. Mayor Toby Barker proposed the markers to protect and restore the city’s historic resources.

The historic markers were included in Barker’s wish list for 2018, with the establishment of four historic sites by the end of the year. The mayor said historic markers are seen in several cities.

“All of you have been one time or another traveling somewhere out of town,” Barker said to the City Council. “I know when I went to Savannah (Georgia) or even Charleston (South Carolina), you would go by certain buildings. There would be a marker on the building that said, ‘In this building, this happened.’ Or, a marker in the sidewalk that said a certain famous person was born there.”

Barker said the historic markers would also educate the residents who are not familiar with Hattiesburg’s history.

“We know much of our city is transplant,” she said. “A lot of you grew up here; a few of us did not. So, we need to find creative ways to tell that story so the next generation can further cultivate that sense of loyalty and place with people and their city as well as a marketing tool for visitors. That is one thing we want to do this year.”

Zach Jones, a member of the city’s Communications Department, made the presentation about establishing the landmarks during a work session Monday afternoon at City Hall.

Jones said the city will have two types of landmarks – recognized landmark and protected landmark.

“Recognized landmark is the typical landmark,” he said. “They are of cultural or social significance, while protected landmarks are generally of architectural, archeological or natural significance.”

Citizens can suggest landmarks, public and private organizations can nominate them and also the mayor and City Council can nominate sites, buildings or sites for historic recognition.

“Previous designations such as buildings or sites that are on the National Register of Historic Places or that are already Mississippi landmarks will also be eligible,” Jones said. “There will also be a $25 application fee for each submission.”

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