The Alabama Historical Commission awarded a $2,500 grant to Citizens For A Better Grand Bay to be used toward the restoration of the Grand Bay State Bank, located in the Grand Bay Historic District. The 2-story brick structure, built in 1913, is currently in the process of renovation and restoration for use as a branch of the Mobile Public Library and an agricultural museum. Alabama State Rep. David Sessions and Sen. Bill Hightower were instrumental in acquiring the grant, said CBGB president, Aleta Boudreaux.
In a brief history of the century-old building at the corner of Dezauche Lane and Freeland Avenue, Boudreaux said: "Its first floor was used as a bank from 1913 to 1929 and as the Grand Bay Post Office from 1933 to 1975. Many residents remember piano recitals and meetings held in the 2nd floor Masonic meeting hall. Most recently the building was the site of the El Cazador Museum, where gold from a Spanish treasure ship found in the Gulf of Mexico was reclaimed and exhibited."
Boudreaux said, "Despite the rise in technology and the number of books available online, nothing can take the place of a good library. If you love books, you'll understand that a library is an environment for learning and discovering the joy of reading. It can also serve as a place to connect with friends, research homework and use computers to search for jobs."
Though some residents do have access to computers at school and work, many in the Grand Bay area still need public access to the internet to complete job applications and to study, Boudreaux said, adding, "Our library will not be just about books. We will have access to the technology and resources available in other areas of the county.”
In addition to being a library and technology center, part of the building will be dedicated to historical and agricultural displays. "Renovation of the Grand Bay State Bank is the start of the overall Historic District project, which includes the Albert Freeland Store and a community park," Boudreaus said.
A meeting of Friends of the Grand Bay Library is scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 11 a.m. at Grand Bay Community Center, 11610 Highway 90 West. Friends of the Library need volunteers to work on grants, public relations and fundraising committees. For more information call 251-656-4576. Read more about the Grand Bay Library project at www.grandbaylibrary.com or on Facebook at Friends of the Grand Bay Library.
In the photo above, from left are Kimon Brown and Aleta Boudreaux of CBGB and Rep. David Sessions. Sessions and Sen. Bill Hightower were instrumental in acquiring a $2,500 grant to aid in renovation of Grand Bay State Bank building into Grand Bay Library & Museum