CANTON — History Cherokee held a groundbreaking Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the start of the expansion of the new Cherokee County History Center, which they hope to open next year.

The history center, 221 E. Marietta St. in downtown Canton, will see an expansion of the facility, as well as renovations for the roof, windows and walls, and a new sign. The 675 square-foot space for exhibits will grow to about 5,000 square feet. When the expansion is complete, the building will total roughly 11,000 square feet.

The center, expected to be completed in spring 2022, will spotlight Cherokee County’s history from prehistoric times to modern days of growth and development. The new center will feature 5,000 square feet of exhibit space, educational resources, comprehensive programming, a research center and library, a projection wall, and tabletop touch screens, and educator-friendly resources such as an instructional guide and teaching standards.

The new center will serve as the headquarters for History Cherokee, formerly the Cherokee County Historical Society.

“Cherokee County has such a unique history and sense of community, and the area is growing fast, so we want to capture this growth and display the past to the community,” said Stefanie Joyner, executive director of History Cherokee. “It’s all about preservation and education. We want to save landmarks because it’s important to teach the community about the county’s history.”

Canton Mayor Bill Grant said that he is excited to have the history center open to the public, and added that he believes the center will be great for both Canton and Cherokee County.

“The center will showcase the past, while detailing where both Canton and the county are heading,” he said.

The renovations are funded through History Cherokee’s multi-million dollar capital campaign “History in the Making,” which has raised over $2.5 million of its $2.8 million goal. Over the last year and a half, more than 60 families, individuals, local governments, foundations, and organizations have come together on the project to build the Cherokee County History Center, said Jessica Gordy, marketing and communications manager with History Cherokee.

For more information or to donate, visit historycherokee.org/history-center, or contact Joyner at sjoyner@historycherokee.org and 770-345-3288.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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