Boone-Murphy dedication to feature Civil War historian, re-enactors

Civil War historian Ron Kelley of Helena-West Helena, formerly of Pine Bluff, will speak and Civil War re-enactors will be on hand Wednesday for an 11:30 a.m. grand opening of the restored Boone-Murphy House at 714 West Fourth Avenue. The event is being staged by the Pine Bluff Historic District Commission.

The historic home, constructed just before the Civil War, was originally located at West Second Avenue and Beech Street. It was moved to its present location in the 1970s.

During the Civil War, it served for a time as the headquarters of the Union Army. The restored structure will now be utilized not only as a Civil War site, but also as a meeting site.

Also taking part in the public dedication will be Mayor Debe Hollingsworth, it was announced at a Friday meeting of the commission at the civic center.

Also during the meeting, it was disclosed that The Saenger Theatre had recently received a $24,000 state grant to be applied to additional roof, chimney and masonry work at the landmark building on West Second Avenue. The Saenger, which dates back to the 1920s, also received a $12,000 matching grant for the work from the Old Towne Theatre Centre, headed by Commissioner Jack Stradley.

City Inspection and Zoning Director Robert Tucker, who advises the commission, said that the current grant money creates a total of nearly $90,000 that has been appropriated to The Saenger since early 2012.

In other business, the commission voted unanimously to order 36 downtown sign toppers. The signs will read “Downtown Historic District” and contain the commission’s website address.

Commissioners unanimously authorized Frederick Jackson to hang brackets and signs outside buildings at 214 and 220 West Barraque Street.