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McDonald County Old Jail Added to National Register of Historic Places

by Alexus Underwood | July 22, 2021 at 5:29 a.m.
ALEXUS UNDERWOOD/SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS. Representative Bill Lant and Mayor Gregg Sweeten unveiled the plaque at the celebration. Cornerstone Bank donated money for the plaque that sits outside of the McDonald County Old Jail.

PINEVILLE -- The McDonald County Historical Society, on July 18, celebrated the McDonald County Old Jail being added to the National Register of Historic Places. The group, which had volunteers working on the old jail becoming a historical site for nearly four years, celebrated the accomplishment by unveiling a plaque outside the jail with community members and history enthusiasts present.

Lynn Tatum, board chair for the McDonald County Historical Society, said being added to the National Register of Historic Places was no easy feat, referring to the lengthy process volunteers underwent to complete the project. Tatum said after a preliminary application was approved, it had to be proven that the McDonald County Old Jail had historical value, this value was showcased by meeting requirements set forth by the United States Department of Interior. The jail, which was built in 1904, met the requirement for age of the building to be deemed a historic place, as well as the jail's location -- which sits on the original land that the original jail was built on. Tatum said the historical society took advantage of this opportunity to preserve McDonald County history.

"The people, especially the people who grew up in this county, are very interested in preserving and celebrating their history," Tatum said. "What I have learned is the history here is very important to the local people. I believe that they want this, they wanted this. They're proud of their history, and rightfully so."

Tatum said by adding the McDonald County Old Jail to the list of historic places, she and the historical society are doing their duty to preserve the history of McDonald County. Tatum added that by gaining this accomplishment for the county, McDonald County Historical Society volunteers are giving back to their community through their actions.

Sam Alps, chair on the exhibit team of the McDonald County Historical Society, said she helped plan for the event by choosing a boulder for the plaque to be mounted to, alongside another member of the exhibit team. Alps said she wants to preserve McDonald County history in any way she can.

"I think, anyone who is involved in history, wants to preserve things for the later generation," Alps said. "Some people don't even know what it is, and they walk by it every day."

Alps said adding the location to the National Register of Historic Places is a huge accomplishment, as McDonald County only has two other locations also on the list: the iron bridge in Powell and the McDonald County Courthouse Museum.

In addition to Tatum and Alps, numerous volunteers aided in the process. The committee that researched and submitted paperwork to be added to the National Register of Historic Places was made up of Lynn Tatum, Kathy Underwood, Paul Lewis, Claudine Doherty, and Gene Hall. Various businesses and city employees donated money toward the plaque and boulder, including county commissioners and Cornerstone Bank. Additional city employees and historical society supporters offered help during the four-year process, each leaving their mark on the McDonald County Old Jail becoming a historic site.

On July 18, the McDonald County Historical Society showcased their plaque, offered refreshments, and toured the women's cell of the old jail. Community members joined together to celebrate the newly preserved history of McDonald County.

ALEXUS UNDERWOOD/SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS Pictured are community members, historical society members, and volunteers that were a part of the process of the McDonald County Old Jail being added to the National Register of Historical Places. The late Gene Hall is not pictured, although he played an instrumental role in naming the jail a historic location.
ALEXUS UNDERWOOD/SPECIAL TO MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS Pictured are community members, historical society members, and volunteers that were a part of the process of the McDonald County Old Jail being added to the National Register of Historical Places. The late Gene Hall is not pictured, although he played an instrumental role in naming the jail a historic location.

Print Headline: McDonald County Old Jail Added to National Register of Historic Places

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