AUGUSTA -- Ornaments commemorating historic Echo Hall are currently for sale in Augusta.
The ornaments feature a replica of an Echo Hall oil painting that was completed by Delilah Young and commissioned by local resident Bill Baker, according to Mary Ann Kearns, an Augusta College Echo Hall Association board member.
Kearns said she hopes to see the ornaments become family heirlooms.
"We would like to see these ornaments become keepsakes for people," she said.
Kearns said the ornaments are one of several ways the board is trying to raise money to restore the historic building.
"I talked to Jackie Hopkins, another board member, about the ornaments," Kearns said. "She liked the idea and just took it from there."
Kearns said there is a lot of work that still needs to be finished with the building.
"We've saved the building," she said. "Now, we're trying to rehab it."
According to Kearns, the metal ornaments can be purchased for $15 and are available at the Augusta Pub.
They will also be available during a community meeting that will be held Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Clooney Community Center.
During the meeting, guests will have the opportunity to hear about the building and ask questions.
"It's just an opportunity to update the community and let people know where the project stands and hopefully, to become involved," Kearns said.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help raise money for the building. The page has a goal of $20,000. There is no deadline to donate on the page.
Money raised from fund-raisers and through capitol donations will be used for stabilization and cleanup of the property. Once that has been completed, the restoration can begin.
Echo Hall, located on Frankfort Street, is one of two boarding houses built to accommodate students at Augusta College, one of the first Methodist colleges in the world, according to some historical accounts. Both boarding houses were built circa 1830 for male students attending Augusta College (1824-1849).
The building has fallen into disrepair since the 1997 Ohio River flood including the partial collapse of a back wall. It was slated for demolition until a group interested in saving the site stepped in, hoping to restore the structure. Working with the Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation, the current owner agreed to sell the property to the group rather than demolish it.
The GoFundMe page to donate to the restoration efforts can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/save-historic-echo-hall. Donations call also be sent to Augusta College Echo Hall Association, P.O. Box 3, Augusta, Ky. 41002. The group has 501c3 status from the IRS and all donations are tax deductible.
More information can be found on the group's Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/BattleOfAugusta150thCommemoration or at its website, www.saveechohall.com