Salemburg mayor Bobby Strickland walks around the town hall building explaining how far the structure will be expanded when work on a history hall celebrating the town begins within the next couple of months.
“It is going to come out to about here,” he says as he points just past a concrete walkway. “It is going to be pretty big, as you can see, and it is going to tell the story of our town; I just can’t wait.”
Strickland, who has lived in the town since he was 13 years old and has been mayor for the past 31 years, said the new room will be named the “Salemburg Royal Hall of History” in honor of the Royal family, who has been supportive, not only with their thoughts and words, but financially as well.
Although everything is still in the planning stages, a major private donation to the building fund — expected to cost approximately $75,000 and come from private funding — was presented to Strickland last week. He, in turn, shared the news with Salemburg commissioners, telling them that the donation would allow the project to go full steam ahead, news that delighted the mayor.
“I have been thinking about this for about two or three years now,” Strickland noted. “And some of the Royal family, who have been one of the prominent business families in Salemburg, had expressed interest in having a history and memorabilia room that would be available for the citizens to see the actual history of the town.”
Even before the first piece of dirt has been shoveled, Strickland, along with his wife, Pauline, has already amassed an impressive lot of items currently being displayed in a back room at town hall. The room is filled with pictures of prominent citizens from the town; there is glass cases stocked with materials; news clippings; old items found in Salemburg stores; and more. There is even a replica of a house that was home to Salem Academy students. It burned down in 1910.
Strickland says he has more items in storage and is seeking mint condition items for the hall that are business related.
It is a project that is close to his heart.
“I have been here for many years,” the mayor said. “A lot of the things that will be in this hall, I grew up with and probably have used, so yes, it is really personal to me. It is something that I would like to make great for the people of Salemburg, as well as for the Royal family.”
The hall will open and free to the public, available to persue when the town hall office is open.
Work is expected to begin within the next two months.
“I expect it will take a year to build once we get going,” the mayor said. “I’m really excited about it and people have given me a lot of encouragement. It is going to happen and we are looking forward to working with the people of Salemburg. Together we are going to come up with a respectable building and memorabilia for the people of the town of Salemburg, something we can all be proud of.”
Strickland said in addition to his solid 31-year record, he wanted the building to be part of his legacy.
“I have spent 31 years as mayor and have always put the interest of the town of Salemburg and its people first,” he said. “To me, I have done things that were always in the best interest of the people. Over the years, I have had a lot of compliments on my administration. I have always appreciated that and that is what I strive for. This will be another thing that will show that. I want to leave a legacy of giving it 100 percent in everything and that is what I am doing with this.”
For more information on the project or to have items considered for the building call the town office at 910-525-5650.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to email@example.com.