The swankiest soiree of the year, the Madison-Morgan Conservancy’s annual Derby Day, raked in about $60,000 for the non-profit organization dedicated to protecting vital historic and agricultural resources.
“Derby Day is the Conservancy’s only fundraiser of the year, and it supports the protection of farms, forests, and front porches right here in Morgan County for future generations,” said Christine McCauley Watts.
“The Conservancy is the only countywide conservancy in the state, and we’re piloting the idea that a local community can choose how to grow by protecting the most important resources first. Farmland and forestland are among those most important resources, and the Conservancy will be working to increase the pace of that protection over the next few years through its Revolving Fund.”
Attendees spent last Saturday evening sipping mint juleps while donning festive hats while screening the Kentucky Derby. This year’s event was held at the newly restored “Madison’s Masterpiece on Main,” the Foster-Thomason-Miller-Minnix House. The Madison-Morgan Conservancy was eager to show off the first property saved by the group’s Endangered Properties Revolving Fund.
“We want to give a big thank you to Elizabeth and David Minnix for not only hosting the Conservancy’s only fundraiser of the year, but more importantly, for their work bringing back to life Madison’s Masterpiece on Main,” said Watts.
According to Watts, attendees at Derby Day got to see just how the Revolving Fund works.
“The Foster-Thomason-Miller-Minnix House was the first Revolving Fund Project and a great example of how a modest community investment can make a huge impact. The funds used to save Madison’s Masterpiece on Main were recouped by the Conservancy after selling the property to the Minnix Family, and those same funds have since been used to permanently protect 170+ acres of farm and forestland, a historic seedhouse, and a historic school,” said Watts.
“The Conservancy looks forward to many more Revolving Fund projects in the future and is so grateful for the community’s support of and contributions to that fund.”
According to the conservancy, “After a fire and almost 20 years of sitting vacant and deteriorating, the Foster-Thomason-Miller house was purchased by the Minnixes from the Conservancy’s Revolving Fund, and Elizabeth and David have spent the last five years restoring the historic house with a keen preservation ethic. The preservation choices they have made inside and out are remarkable, saving as much of the historic material as possible, repurposing wooden members whenever feasible, retaining every mantle, and even recasting missing architectural details that were lost due to fire. Surrounded by an amazing team of architects, designers, contractors, and tradesmen/women, the Minnixes have made a substantial investment into the future of Madison’s Historic District, and we are so grateful to them for that and honored to be a part of their story.”
The Foster-Thomason-Miller-Minnix House is located at 498 S. Main St. in Madison.
To find out more about the Madison-Morgan Conservancy: email info@mmcGeorgia.org, or call 706-818-8046.
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