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Descendants look to restore historic home

SHERESE A. GORE | 12/14/2015, 10:14 a.m.
From her front porch, Hanie Megginson could have seen the land holdings of her son, Albert, sweep up and down ...
Decedents of Albert Megginson look to restore the old Megginson homestead, seen in a Nov. 20 photo, and have started a fundraising campaign with the hopes of turning it into a historical museum in Lynchburg, Virginia. – Autumn Parry of The News & Advance

“This is our beginning,” said descendent Lorenzo Megginson. “My generation and my grandfather’s generation, so this is our heritage and we try to do the best we can to keep it from slipping away from us.”

But the first order of business is to stabilize the roof so rainwater no longer is able to enter. The second priority, Kennedy said, is to hire a historical preservationist and/or an architect to help with the details of the restoration. Riverbends has created a GoFundMe account with the goal of collecting $25,000 toward the revitalization effort. So far, $5,000 has been raised.

Kennedy said when he began his family research, he aimed to do for the entire Megginson clan what Alex Haley did for a single branch of his family in the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Kennedy also hopes the restoration will encourage others to research their own family histories.

“If we don’t know where we come from, we would not be equipped to have appropriate visions for where we need to go,” Kennedy said. “And I believe that the elements of fortitude and faith that got our ancestors through slavery, through Reconstruction, through the civil rights era and day-to-day life today has immense educational value that needs to be shared.”