2016 Telfair County Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year
The Pioneer Historical Society (PHS) is a non profit 501 (c) 3 organization that resulted from the combining of two previous organizations - the Pioneer Historical Society and the Telfair Arts Association. Today, the mission of the resultant society is to sustain the interest of the county's citizens in the preservation of the county's history and to encourage interest in the arts. To achieve this mission, PHS has developed a strategic ten year plan. Major elements of the plan include the Telfair Museum of History, the National Register of Historic Places, Membership, Integration, the Arts including the Telfair Center for the Arts, and Publications.
In 2007, on behalf of the County's Board of Commissioners, the PHS planned for and held Telfair's bicentennial. As a part of that effort, the Society established the Telfair County Bicentennial Museum. Now the Telfair Museum of History, the museum is located in the historic railroad depot in Helena. The society published "Telfair Trails," a driving tour highlighting the historic sites and structures of the county, and additionally established a "Walking Tour of Historic McRae". The PHS celebrates the county's establishment with an annual Founder's Day Celebration in historic Jacksonville as well as hosting events at the Telfair Museum of History. These events include openings of significant new displays or significant additions to existing displays and most recently an art exhibit of noted Georgia artists.The PHS was responsible for the initial restoration, maintenance, and management of the Old South Georgia Georgia (OSGC) Administrative Building which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The PHS relinquished ownership of the structure to the Telfair Library Board in 2006, and a second more extensive restoration was undertaken. When this restoration stalled, the society developed a "plan for use" and with the boards agreement in early 2010, the Society assumed responsibility for the operations and maintenance of the building. A rehabilitation was initiated to adapt the building as the Telfair Center for the Arts. This effort continues.
President - Robert Herndon, Vice President - Frank Murphy, Treasurer - Gwen Nelson, Secretary - Mae Branyan, Historian - Ruby White, Director for Telfair Center for the Arts - Rip Maneely, Curator for Telfair Museum of History - Annis Dominey
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