GREENWOOD, Fla. (WMBB) — A historic Jackson County landmark is being repurposed, but into what isn’t exactly clear, at least not yet.
Tourism leaders hosted residents for a workshop meeting at the Great Oaks Property about its future.
“I think this is a terrific opportunity for a cross-section of Jackson County to get together and talk about the operating entities and the future of this magnificent building,” Jackson County resident John Alter said. “I think that tourism is the sleeping giant of Jackson County in terms of economic development. It’s all here. All we have to do is continue to get it organized and then share that information with our potential visitors.”
The Great Oaks Property was built before the Civil War.
The home’s antebellum architecture has made it an iconic feature in the county.
In 2013 the Great Oaks Historical Society bought the historic site, intending to open the building to the public.
However, setbacks from both Hurricane Michael and COVID-19 prevented them from realizing the plan.
Knowing they didn’t have the money to perform some needed restoration, the historical society sold the house and the surrounding 10 acres to the Jackson County Commission for $20,000.
“Now we’re looking at how we can move forward with best utilizing the space for community service in the future,” Jackson County Travel Destination Council’s (TDC) Executive Director Kelsi Jackson said.
The TDC held Thursday’s workshop for residents to share their thoughts.
“To be able to engage with them and learn what types of visions they have for this property, what we can be able to do to make sure that we’re providing a valuable service to our citizens, and what they would like to see to be able to really boost the quality of life for Greenwood in the county,” Jackson said.
Jackson said residents are excited to use the building again
“There were a lot of conversations about how to best utilize it as an event space,” Jackson said. “And really making sure that we can continue to share the history of the home for anyone who wants to partake in it.”
No decision was made at the meeting, but Jackson said she’ll share residents’ ideas with the TDC and county officials.
Residents will get another chance to share their ideas at another workshop on Saturday, November 4.
Click here for more information on the Great Oak Property restoration project.