Lapham Patterson House may close soon - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lapham Patterson House may close soon

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A historic landmark in Thomasville may become the latest victim of economic hardship.

The Lapham-Patterson house has been around for more than a century. It attracts thousands to thomasville every year for daily tours and seminars.

But state budget cuts may force the department of natural resources to cut off funding.

Built in 1885 by a Chicago shoe merchant The Lapham-Patterson house still stands tall and strong in Thomasville.

"In 1975 it was recognized nationally as a national historical landmark. It's the only one in Thomas county and one of only a few in Georgia," says Brent Runyon, Executive director of Thomasville Landmarks.

But financial woes may shut it down.

The Department of Natural Resources is slashing its budget and reducing the number of facilities it operates. A likely candidate for closure? The Lapham-Patterson House.

"Were hoping the community rally's behind the house, contact local legislatures and tell them how important it is for tourism and education for our youth and adults," says Runyon.

Tourism is one of Thomasville's biggest economic stimulators.

The Obermeier family traveled all the way from Germany.

"We came to see the old houses. All the architecture, it's interesting. So that's why we decided on Thomasville," says tourist Thomas Obermeier.

Keven Rehberg didn't have to travel across seas to visit the historic house.

"I've been coming to the house since i was a small child," he says.

He's lived in Thomasville 27 years. And can't imagine it without the majestic home.

But he says even if the state stops funding it, he believes the community will pull through to keep the house up and running.

Site managers haven't received final word regarding the closure. But feel confident they're next on the chopping block. The Lapham Patterson house draws in large crowds for Thomasville...but is one of the smaller tourism sites compared to others in the nation.

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