McCarty museum closer to becoming reality

McCarty museum closer to becoming reality

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ The home of Hattiesburg’s most recognized _ and most generous _ laundress is getting closer to be being moved for a second time.

And moved for what city officials are expecting will be the last for a home that will soon become a museum.

Hattiesburg City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to grant a land use variance for property on East Sixth Street as well as close off an alley adjacent to the site that eventually will house the former home of Oseola McCarty.

McCarty, who spent her working life as a washerwoman, will have her story memorialized with her home set just across the street from other iconic African-American touchstones such as the military museum at the USO Club and Eureka School.

“That’s what we needed City Council to approve, and what the planning commission did approve, was the closure of that alley on that end of the parcel between Memphis (Street) and Poplar (Row),” said Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, which oversees the Sixth Street Museum District.

McCarty, who died in 1999, donated the bulk of her life’s savings, about $150,000, to the University of Southern Mississippi for scholarships to aid African-American students in attending college.

Her modest, two-bedroom home currently resides on Miller Street. Prior to that, her home sat on the site of Hattiesburg High School’s D.I Patrick Stadium.

Taylor said site prep, moving the house and then doing “a historic renovation” on the Sixth Street site likely would take the next year to 18 months to complete. That would include property restoration, such as a garden, as well as touch up items inside the house.

All told, the project is about two years into the three-year/42-month time frame the commission had envisioned for the project, Taylor said.

Council also is expected Tuesday to:

  • Acknowledge receipt of a Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Service grant that will cover 75 percent of a $351,000 Emergency Watershed Protection project to shore up banks off Timothy Lane near the Salvage World store
  • Ask the Mississippi Department of Transportation to “initiate” a pair of projects, including a $1.6 million improvement of 38th Avenue between West Fourth and Hardy streets. A separate contract for $10,936 will go toward sidewalk improvements on the east side of 38th Avenue

The second project affects Second Avenue, Adeline Street and Hardy Street, where the three streets meet at awkward angles near the Library of Hattiesburg-Petal-Forrest County. The $840,505 project would install a roundabout in the area

  • Vote on finalizing the contract with Complete Environmental & Remediation Co., LLC, “to provide complete labor and equipment and disposal services" for the 2019 Household Hazardous Waste Event, April 20, 2019, at the Bobby Chain Airport.

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