AUGUSTA, AR --- The Augusta Historical Society and Tourism Bureau (AHSTB) is actively working on obtaining long-term leases from the City of Augusta for several historic properties for restoration and revitalization purposes. The old generator plant and the Hyde House are the first two properties to be restored, pending city council approval. If approved, both historically registered structures would be restored and used as museums to generate tourism and offer educational opportunities for Woodruff County.
The generator plant is set to be this area’s first ever Museum of Industry, boasting five antique generators, which the AHSTB proposes to be cleaned up for presentation, and all items currently in the plant be cataloged properly per museum standards. A screen could be added to show video footage of what similar generators looked like when they ran, or eventually the machines could be run on neutral for demonstration purposes only. There are no plans to restore the working generation of power in the plant as the cooling towers are no longer intact.
The Hyde House would be completed in phases, ideally with a portion being open in time for Augusta Days to generate interest and donations. The Hyde House would serve as a welcome center, with rotating exhibits of regional history and interest. In partnership with the Augusta Improvement Club, the Hyde House and the Heritage Center share a backyard, and the two could be used as an event center for rent.
AHSTB is proposing a long-term lease for both properties, the Hyde House in partnership with the City and the Hyde family. AHSTB is asking the City of Augusta to assist with the utilities and insurance, mimicking the 99-year lease provided to the Augusta Improvement Club for the Heritage Center. AHSTB will seek and receive grant funding and private donations for the restorations, and has plans to host several fundraisers and events, such as a classic car show, a ghost tour, and possibly a Civil War Reenactment, to help drive tourism traffic into Augusta and Woodruff County.
The Augusta Historical Society and Tourism Bureau
Augusta, Arkansas 72006