October 4, 2016
Louisburg’s community is collaborating to stabilize Franklin County’s historic jail, a 141-year-old iconic but delapidated building in downtown Louisburg that closed decades ago.
The work – a new roof, front porch and restored or new windows – is underway through a partnership between Franklin County and the Tar River Center for History and Culture Foundation.
Work on the roof and porch is nearly finished, and Louisburg College alumnus Allen Tharrington, who teaches welding at Vance Granville Community College, is assessing what’s necessary for the windows.
The Town of Louisburg provided a $10,000 grant for the front porch, and Fleet Benning, a master craftsman in Louisburg, oversaw the construction.
Franklin County contributed $30,000, and the Tar River center’s foundation has agreed to raise up to $20,000 to complete the work. The stabilization will buy time until a decision can be made on how the old jail should be used.
Over the years, the Franklin County Historical Society worked hard to turn the jail into a museum, opening a small one there around 1990. But the building continued to deteriorate. Trees grew on the roof.
This summer, Franklin County Commissioners voted to lease the building for two years to the foundation to oversee stabilization. There is once again hope for this piece of history.
Allen Tharrington, Louisburg College Class of '95 and welding instructor at Vance Granville Community College, with Maury York, director of the Tar River Center for History and Culture.