The community was invited to the Wilson County Election Commission on Tuesday for the 100th Anniversary Historic Marker Placement Ceremony for the establishment, located at 203 East Main Street in Lebanon, which formerly served as the Old Federal Post Office.
The architectural landmark has seen a lot of activity since its cornerstone was laid on Oct. 30, 1913. It first served as the post office - handling mail from 1915 until 1968 when the office moved to its current located on Gay Street. The building also served as a vocational center, as well as space for county offices.
The Wilson County Election Commission has called the spot home since 1994. However, it wasn't until Philip Warren was named Wilson County Election Commissioner in 2011 that the local gem really sparkled.
Warren said there was talk of moving the Election Commission to the former Nave Funeral Home building, next to the Wilson County Courthouse where the Veterans Plaza is now being constructed. Warren recalled the renovations would have been over $1 million.
"I would rather be in this building anyways," he said of the former post office. "So we renovated this roof and all and it was around $60,000."
Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett complimented the hard work and vision required to renovate the space to its former glory.
"This didn't happen by bringing a bottle of 409 in here and a roll of paper towels to get this done," Hargett said. "This community values its history so much that you were willing to invest in this."
Hargett said that the Wilson County Election Commission is not only about history - much of their focus is on the future. "Every person who comes and registers to vote - whether they are 18 or 88 - you are seeing the future of the community as well."
Warren pointed out the 400 poll workers and Election Commission who make things run smoothly each election.
He also introduced dignitaries in the crowd, including Senator Mae Beavers, State Rep. Mark Pody, Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings, Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, Wilson County School Board Member Don Weathers and others.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.