LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A piece of Lufkin history and a hub for black history is on it's way to being renovated. Reverend Bettie Kennedy's father built more than 100 homes in Lufkin.
The two-story building at 228 Leach Street was constructed in the early 1900's and has survived many storms and even plans to be demolished.
"This is a historical site," said Rev. Bettie Kennedy. "This large building was built over 100 years ago and was built by Will Engram who was my father."
Many of Kennedy's father's homes are still standing but this particular building has a cultural weight on it's foundation.
"This was a hub of the community and many of the meetings were here," Kennedy said. "We have allowed many of the historical sites in the black community to be torn down so for this one to be under restoration is a real joy for me."
Kennedy says restoring this building will preserve the history of a people.
"People can come and learn a part of our heritage, the contribution that blacks have made in Angelina County, Lufkin, Texas," Kennedy said. "Our history was not written down, if you find any history about the black man it would just be one or two sentences but this will let you know that we are a great people."
Kennedy hopes the building will become a black history museum upstairs and a center for cultural education down stairs.
"It'll give me a place where those articles from our history, from our past can be stored here. This will just help our children to understand better because if the children do not understand where we came from they certainly don't know where they're going," Kennedy said.
The restoration project is just getting started and there is still much to do. Kennedy says the community has already supported the project but help is still needed to keep progress going.
"It will be the community's. Not just for one person. It will be for all people," Kennedy said.
Kennedy says donations, skilled craftsmen and volunteers to work inside and outside in the yard would be greatly appreciated.
To help contact Josephine Bonner: 936-240-9300