WALTHALL, Miss. (WCBI) – Fire heavily damaged the Webster County Courthouse early Thursday morning, but all is not lost.
Webster County leaders have decided to rebuild on that same site.
During a special meeting of the board of supervisors today officials moved to renovate the burned out shell of the historical landmark.
“Growing up here right here in this little community we played on the grounds of the courthouse square,” said Donna Mathes, Walthall.
Like many people in this community, Donna Mathes has fond memories of the courthouse that stood majestically at the center of town for almost a century.
“We just can’t let this place go away because we, this is our roots. This is where we grew up and memories are just all around that courthouse square,” said mathes.
“I’ve worked at this building for 13 years and its a lot of memories. Lot of fun times,” said Wanda Robinson, Deputy Circuit Clerk.
During a Friday afternoon meeting, an insurance adjuster went over the county’s policy and crunched numbers.
Slowly hope began to emerge.
The bright point came when a Tupelo structural engineer told everyone that the courthouse can be restored.
“And the floors are in good shape. And so structually restoring that building, its certainly feasible and its something that we’ve done quite often. And we’ve fixed worst than that,” said Mark Watson, Tupelo Engineer.
Webster County supervisors also discussed making the damaged courthouse area an official dangerous zone site.
That way they could temporarily fence it in.
Walthall residents could be seen brooding over the burned out courthouse rubble Friday afternoon.
In 1962, Miss Mississippi Charlott Ann Carroll stood there greeting her admirers.
“Coming back to Walthall and sharing her crown with all of us , we can’t, we got to fight to keep it here. 1962, I was a really little girl. Ha ha, ha,” said Mathes.
In the meantime Webster County officials are boarding up the structure of the burned courthouse to make it as secure as possible.