MEADOWVIEW, Va. — Efforts are underway in Meadowview to ensure the Yesterday building has a future.

A fundraising campaign will raise money to restore the historic structure as efforts to revitalize the town square continue.

Meadowview First, a group of citizens committed to working toward the long-term, sustainable economic development of the Washington County community, will host Meadowview Days, a community gathering Saturday in the town square.

The event, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature arts and crafts vendors, live music, a barbecue lunch and raffle prizes. New Meadowview T-shirts will be available for purchase.

Proceeds will be used to restore and repair the 100-year-old local landmark affectionately called the Yesterday building, which is next door to the Meadowview Health Clinic and Community Center. Those attending can tour the building during the event.

According to Susan Yates, a board member of Meadowview First, the renovation of the building may require as much as $50,000, and may take years to complete. The project will be conducted in phases as money becomes available.

A GoFundMe page has been established online at www.gofundme.com/meadowview-first-yesterday-building to help raise funds. Donations are tax-deductible.

“Little by little, Meadowview First Inc. has been working to restore the character of the downtown to what it was in years past. This is another step in that process,” said Jim Wallace, chairman of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The building will require a new HVAC system, water and sewer hookup and upgraded electricity, and it will be made accessible to those with disabilities. The original hardwood floor will be restored while retaining the historic appearance of the landmark.

“It’s a lot of work to a little building, but it’s got a lot of history and charm,” Yates said. “It’s a real fixture on the square. We want to keep the architectural accuracy to the building.”

Members of Meadowview First plan to rent or sell the building for office or commercial space once renovations are complete.

“Our mission is to increase foot traffic in town and help the downtown become more sustainable,” Yates said.

“Some people may think that’s a lot of money to spend on that little building, but there’s other value in it.

“The main point of bringing the event to town is to allow our neighbors to fellowship with each other and to focus more attention on Meadowview First and what we’re trying to accomplish,” she said.

“We want to bring the community together for a fun day on the square.”

For decades, the Meadowview Civic Club hosted an apple butter festival until the event ran out of steam and was no longer offered. Yates said Meadowview Days was organized after community members asked for the festival to reopen.

The tagline for the event is “Come back to Meadowview.”

Booth spaces for vendors selling arts, craft, collectibles and yard sale items are $10 each. Spaces are designated by existing painted parking lines.

A barbecue lunch prepared by Harvest Table Restaurant will be sold in the square from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Music will be provided at 11 a.m. by David and Ann Ledgerwood. Tammy Martin and Teddy Hilton, members of Fire in the Kitchen, will perform at 12:30 p.m., followed by Joyful Noise at 2 p.m.

Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 each during the event. Meadowview First will have an information booth where tickets can be purchased.

Raffle prizes will include movie night and back-to-school gift baskets, framed artwork from Holston Furniture, two photo session packages from Hill Photography Services and a number of gift cards, including from Food City, Food Country, Harvest Table Restaurant and Emory Mercantile. Ticket-holders do not have to be present to win.

The Yesterday building has a long and sentimental history.

According to a written history provided by Yates, the building has served multiple uses throughout the past 100 years, including a dress shop and the post office for Meadowview. In 1922, two first cousins, E.E. Maiden and H.B. Maiden Sr., began a formal partnership of local merchandising.

The building still holds the iron postmaster window and wooden mailboxes that were used many decades ago when it was a post office. It is currently being used for storage by a local merchant.

The building was purchased by Meadowview First in 2017.

The organization was instrumental in establishing the Meadowview Health Clinic and Community Center and restoring the historic Norfolk & Western train depot in the town square.

In addition to restoration efforts for the Yesterday building, the organization’s current projects include the establishment of the Thomas E. Merrihue Diabetic Education and Prevention Center of Southwest Virginia in partnership with Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems.

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Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at citydesk@bristolnews.com.

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