9 (More) Reasons to be a Flea Market Volunteer

It's time once again to prepare for Historic Macon's annual Flea Market. The Flea Market is Historic Macon's largest fundraiser of the year and brings in over $40,000 in funds each year. This is made possible through our generous and hard-working volunteers. They clean, sort, price, and pick-up inventory for months prior to the Flea Market.

There are many reasons to be a Flea Market volunteer. Read on for nine good reasons or check out a post from last year for more.

1. Family bonding time.


The Flea Market is a family affair for many of our volunteers. Mothers and daughters, sons and fathers, sisters and brothers -all these folks volunteer at the Flea Market. They have the opportunity to form that extra special bond over uncovering weird donations and picking up heavy furniture during pick-ups.

2. You think you don’t need anything else, but you’ll find some really special items you can’t live without (bonus: you can purchase said items during the volunteer pre-sale and luncheon on Friday, November 4).

Just ask one of our dedicated volunteers. They sort through boxes and boxes of donated items every year, wondering how anyone could have so much stuff. But our donations are pretty great so it's hard to resist taking at least something home.

3. Flea Market friends are lifelong friends.


The act of sorting through donations and working the Flea Market creates interesting conversations and bonding moments, resulting in lifelong friendships. Our volunteers see each other every year during workdays and the sale, strengthening their bond one Flea Market at a time. 

4. You might see some really cute babies....

5. .....and Santa!


He's always watching. So you better be nice.

6. You’ll burn a few calories working in our new location


That's right, the Flea Market has a new home at 357 Oglethorpe Street. The 10,000 square foot warehouse is filling quickly with donations and this year's sale will be better than ever!

7. And you can treat yourself to a locally made brew after you burned those calories at the Macon Beer Company.

Photo by Jess Miller, via http://www.peachstatealetrail.com/jmillermbc/.

Photo by Jess Miller, via http://www.peachstatealetrail.com/jmillermbc/.

Our new location comes with the added bonus of great new neighbors, including the Macon Beer Company and the Macon Water Authority. Which will make for fun Saturday workdays and a great Preview Party.

8. Those green aprons though....


Yes, you get to wear one of the coveted green aprons. Which means you have some authority on the day of the sale. And it looks good on everyone. Especially after you’ve burned those calories during the work days. Right?

9. At the end of the day you can kick your feet up and know you made a difference.

93¢ of every dollar spent at the Flea Market does right back to Historic Macon. Those funds allow us to do what we do best: revitalize our community by preserving architecture and sharing history.

It's easy to volunteer.

If you're convinced that working at Historic Macon's Flea Market is one of the best volunteer gigs in Macon, we'd love to have you on board. Start by coming to weekly workdays on Wednesdays and Fridays of every week from 8am to 11am.

If those times don't work for you, sign up to work during the Flea Market November 4-6, 2016.

Have questions? Want to be added to the Flea Market volunteer email list? Email Emily Hopkins at ehopkins@historicmacon.org or call 478-742-5084.

Watson Brown Foundation Junior Board Awards Historic Macon $10,000 Grant


On Tuesday, August 9, two chipper youths and their advisor arrived to the Sidney Lanier Cottage with a large check in tow from the Watson-Brown Foundation. The Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board of Trustees awarded Historic Macon a $10,000 grant to help fund the listing of Napier Heights as a district in the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic Macon applied for the grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation in March of 2016 to list the area commonly known as Napier Heights in the National Register. Napier Heights is roughly bounded by Interstate 75, Montpelier Avenue, Pio Nono Avenue, and Roff Avenue, though the exact boundaries of a National Register district are determined after research is complete. The area's wonderful building stock and the neighborhood’s excellent location between Mercer University, the Vineville Historic District, and the Cherokee Heights Historic District make it an excellent candidate not only for National Register listing, but also for revitalization.

Historic Macon staffers took the Junior Board of Trustees on a tour of the proposed district in early spring. The trustees asked many questions about the project and were intrigued by Historic Macon's commitment to revitalizing our community through historic preservation. The trustees saw the merit in listing Napier Heights as a historic district and awarded Historic Macon with $10,000 to get the job done.

Historic Macon will use the funds to conduct the extensive research required for the district proposal. The listing of the economically depressed neighborhood of Napier Heights in the National Register of Historic Places allows Historic Macon to employ its proven block-by-block, street-by-street revitalization approach to the neighborhood. Historic Macon anticipates a time in the near future when our neighborhood revitalization work in the Beall's Hill neighborhood will be complete. Napier Heights is be the ideal area to extend Historic Macon's nationally recognized real estate and preservation tactics, creating a more vibrant neighborhood for long-term residents. 

Historic Macon appreciates the recognition and trust of the Watson Brown Foundation Junior Board of Trustees in this project. Continue to follow our blog for updates on the Napier Heights listing and our many other projects.

Summer Intern Perspective -Sara Doll

Elaine and I sharing a moment of accomplishment.

Elaine and I sharing a moment of accomplishment.

#MaconisPreservation at my shotgun

#MaconisPreservation at my shotgun

My summer spent working in Macon turned out to be quite different than what I expected. I went to Macon with the idea that I was getting away from Missouri to partake in an internship over the not-so-thrilling topic of tax credits. Little did I know what awaited me. My spring 2016 school semester was my first introduction to historic tax credits, and what I gathered was they were complicated and pretty boring. However, right from the start Historic Macon Foundation (HMF) showed the potential of utilizing tax credits to help improve the city through historic districts. I never imagined the outstanding improvements possible through historic tax credits without experiencing it on a larger scale. It was not an experience you can get in the classroom.

Preservation is a team effort. Not only did I witness first-hand the importance of communication between the staff at Historic Macon Foundation, but also with their clients, members, volunteers, and fellow preservation foundations, just to name a few. All of these groups were factors in making sure each project or event ran smoothly. It’s always stressed in grad school that you should be a team player in preservation, but until you see it in action the concept is often taken for granted. I knew communication was important coming into my internship, but seeing the benefits of working together to make something happen really showed me the power of collaboration.

Tax credits are only a small part of historic preservation. Without communication between the individuals involved in each scenario, it would be impossible to achieve goals.  Even though tax credits can be daunting, the finished projects are always incredible and well-worth the process it takes to make them happen.

Summer Intern Perspective -Elaine Sullivan

A corner of the potential Historic District we surveyed.

A corner of the potential Historic District we surveyed.

My time at Historic Macon Foundation has been filled with many different learning opportunities and experiences. There were historic tax credits, a National Register district survey, easements, and various field trips to name a few. Most of all, I was given to opportunity to see how effective HMF is at preservation and revitalization throughout the area. I was initially drawn to Historic Macon Foundation because of how active it seemed to be within the preservation scene locally. The idea of revitalizing the community with the goal of encouraging renewed and diverse neighborhoods was something that I was most excited about and hoped to be a part of.

One of the little glimpses into Macon’s history and revitalization I was given the opportunity to experience was in the form of a biking tour brochure. The whole concept was based on bringing attention to the Industrial District and the history it had to offer.

In honor of my Railroad Depot research, here's the engine at the entrance to Central City Park.

In honor of my Railroad Depot research, here's the engine at the entrance to Central City Park.

For this project, a particular topic I took an interest in involved the vast amount of railways and depots that were once a part of the area and how it shaped the landscape. Since the railroads are an integral part of Macon’s history, I enjoyed learning the history behind all of the rail lines and depot locations. Observing how the commerce of the area worked hand in hand with the railroads to become the backbone of Macon’s economy made me excited for what the future of preservation and revitalization of the Industrial District has to hold.

If I’ve learned anything at HMF, it's the power of taking an opportunity to intentionally hone your effort to research and preserve history. A little encouragement and knowledge goes a long way.

The City Directories, aka the only books I looked at in the library.

The City Directories, aka the only books I looked at in the library.

Mill Hill: The Art of Revitalizing a Neighborhood

Michael Phillips, Historic Macon's Preservation Carpenter, prepares for work in Mill Hill

Michael Phillips, Historic Macon's Preservation Carpenter, prepares for work in Mill Hill

For the first time in our 52 year history, we are working simultaneously in two (three, if you count Downtown), neighborhoods. Our experience taught us that focusing on neighborhoods block by block, street by street, house by house bears the most impact on revitalization. We’ve seen this success in Hugenin Heights, Tattnall Square Heights, and now Beall’s Hill. That being said, when opportunities present themselves to do more good, we’re always interested.  

In 2012 I spoke on a panel at a statewide preservation conference in Kentucky. One of the other panelists spoke about how Paducah, KY had married arts and neighborhood revitalization with splendid results. That session always stuck with me knowing that artists have pushed the boundaries of revitalization in cities across the country.

Last year, a contingent of Maconites visited Bradenton, Florida. From that visit, the Mill Hill Arts Village was first conceived. Since 1999 Bradenton’s Village of the Arts (VOTA) has been wildly successful by creating a thriving community of residents and businesses that support a creative spirit. True to Macon’s entrepreneurial spirit, the delegation quickly set to work creating a similar arts endeavor in our community.

As with all successful ventures, Mill Hill: East Macon Arts Village is a partnership. HMF was invited to participate to develop the housing portion of Mill Hill. Our organization will do what we do best –fix up dilapidated houses and bring back vibrancy to the area. Thankfully we’ve been able to hire an additional staff member, Michael Philips, who is overseeing our work in the neighborhood. Sabrinna Cox has also joined our staff as the new Preservation Designer. Under the leadership and direction of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and the Macon Arts Alliance we are bound to succeed.  

I hope this isn’t the first time you’ve heard about Mill Hill. This may be the first you’ve heard about HMF’s involvement, but you’ll hear more as construction continues in earnest this summer. We anticipate completing the first phase of three houses by the end of April and will host a walking tour in May for National Preservation Month.  

Needless to say, it’s thrilling for HMF to be working in concert with the Macon Arts Alliance and the UDA on a new endeavor in East Macon. More importantly, we’re excited to demonstrate a new approach to neighborhood revitalization, one that capitalizes on creativity. The East Macon Arts Village is one more example of how successful we can be as a community, when organizations collaborate.