Historical Association Celebrates Acquisition Of 102-Year-Old Soddy Bank Building

  • Thursday, May 25, 2023
To continue the celebration and to join in the National Trust's May as "Preservation Month," the public is invited to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with the Soddy, Daisy and Montlake Historical Association with outdoor activities centered around the local WWII soldiers of Soddy-Daisy and their contributions, as well as a crafts table devoted to American Folk art and the U.S. flag.

The museum will be open their regular hours, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and this Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
everyone is welcome to join in for the following activities:

• Kid's Painting Table - explore the history of the U.S. flag and other early folk designs by creating your own wooden piece.

• A Journey in the Pacific - Board Member Bill Shadwick will tell stories of his father's service in WWII and present his display of memorabilia. See the large exhibit created by Steve Smith in the museum to view more on WWII. Books commemorating the service of the local soldiers from Soddy-Daisy and this region will also be available.

• A Story of Success - input will be gathered about the Good Old Days Museum and SDMHA's future - light refreshments will be served. Highlights are told below on the newly acquired home.

Officials said, "A long wished for permanent home has finally come true for the Soddy, Daisy & Montlake Historical Association and they have settled on a permanent home in the 102-year-old known as the Soddy Bank building. This historic beauty built in 1921 had been for sale since 2020, which means the local historical association knew that at any time they could lose its current home for the 'Good Old Days Museum.' SDMHA had always envisioned a larger facility due to the size of the museum’s collection. Additionally, if the group was offered a large historical item which would not fit inside the building, we often had to decline the offer. This was one of the driving forces to search for another site.

"Board members began searching in the Soddy-Daisy area, but no new location was ever found that was the right fit. The search looked at old historical homes, local vacant businesses, which were few, and the group even gave the purchase of land to build on a thought. But like the housing construction costs that are on the rise, SDMHA quickly found this to be an expensive avenue to follow.

"Every time the board finished researching another site for the museum, they would return to the old bank building. By December 2019, SDMHA finally decided to seriously pursue the Soddy Bank and talked to the owner for a solid asking price. The Historical Association had made an attempt to raise the money for the purchase in late 2019 and started a full capital campaign effort."

"But because of the uncertainty following the 2020 presidential election and the Covid-19 epidemic, we couldn’t have picked a more unsettling time," said SDMHA President Steve Smith. "The fund raising did produce a rather large amount of money - over $50K, but was far short of what was needed. The donations from the community really showed us that we had local support. In the meantime we continued to operate the museum in the building knowing at any time the building might be sold."

In 2022, the search for a large donor who might be willing to finance purchase of the building began once again.

Mr. Smith said, "We were shocked, to say the least, that anyone had enough faith in our small local Historical Association they would be willing to give us such a large amount of money. We were hesitant since SDMHA did not have any success with that approach before, but we did find a donor who, after much consideration, gave us the amount of money we were trying to get the bank loan for, $100,000. We were able to combine some of the money we had gathered during our previous fundraising campaign and with the donor’s gift, we purchased the building. This year at the April 1st opening, the Soddy, Daisy & Montlake Historical Association became the proud owners of the property at 11298 Wall St. We held a cruise-in and always fundraising, they cooked Chow Now - Plenty Burgers, a nostalgic favorite. Special events will continue throughout the museum's 2023 season."

See full story here.

Call 423-718-0528 for more information, see soddydaisymuseum.com or check out their Facebook page. The museum is located at the corner of Wall Street and Depot Street in Soddy-Daisy.
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