Historical Society seeking members, hosting Mardi Gras ball

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Marengo County Historical Society membership dues are used to help maintain Bluff Hall (pictured) and Lyon Hall. The Marengo County Historical Society is currently holding its annual membership drive.

Marengo County Historical Society membership dues are used to help maintain Bluff Hall (pictured) and Lyon Hall. The Marengo County Historical Society is currently holding its annual membership drive.

The Marengo County Historical Society is holding its annual membership drive.

Kirk Brooker, who heads up the MCHS, said membership dues are vital to keeping Bluff Hall and Lyon Hall in the best condition possible.

Membership for a year is $30 for individuals or $50 for couples. There are also other levels of membership above that. All membership dues are 100 percent tax deductible because there are no goods or services provided by the membership.

“We’re a non-profit 501(c)3 and all donations and memberships are completely tax deductible,” Brooker said. “One of the things that a lot of people don’t know is that Bluff Hall and Lyon Hall are not owned by the city or the county. The Historical Society is responsible for everything that has to do with those houses. We take them for granted, but they aren’t guaranteed. We use the memberships for maintenance on the houses.”

Brooker said Historical Society members get free tours of Bluff Hall throughout the year, except for Christmas in the Canebrake, but other than that, membership provides peace of mind that the historical homes will remain intact.

There are several ways to donate to the Historical Society in addition to the annual membership.

Brooker said memberships can be given as gifts, stocks can be gifted to the Historical Society and donations can be drafted monthly.

“We accept donations in a lot of different ways,” he said. “We can take them in installments, like a pledge, where we draft a certain amount per month, we accept gifts of stock and we have people buy memberships as gifts for friends.”

By partnering with other local organizations such as the Marengo County History and Archives Museum, Two Rivers Arts Council, Demopolis Public Library, Canebrake Players, Demopolis City Schools, city of Demopolis and Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce, the MCHS can provide a variety of cultural, academic and purely fun activities such as the annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball.

The Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball will kick off the 2015 membership drive, and people interested in joining can sign up at the ball. It will be held Friday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. at Lyon Hall. Tickets for the event are $20 for both members and non-members.

Mojo Trio, a band out of Tuscaloosa, will perform live at the event. Brooker said they play a variety of music from rock to pop to country.

“They’re going to be playing sort of an unplugged version, but they’re a party band,” Brooker said. “We’re really excited to have them. They play a good mix of music that will keep the party going.”

For those that don’t make it to the Mardi Gras Ball, memberships can be secured by emailing marengohistory@bellsouth.net, going by the Craft Corner at Bluff Hall, calling (334) 289-9644, or by sending a check to P.O. Box 159, Demopolis, AL 36732.