The Historic Civic Center Building
In 1950, African-American residents of Spring Lake and Manchester constructed the Civic Center building by hand for use as a recreation center for the community’s children.
The Civic Center served as a hub for social and civic events. Community members attended sock hops, family reunions, weddings and many other social events at the Civic Center building.
During the Civil Rights era, the Civic Center was pressed into service for voter registration drives, school desgregation efforts and NAACP meetings. Civil rights meetings held in the building were instrumental in the desegregation of schools, restaurants and theaters in Cumberland County.
In 2001, the Civic Center Building, a 50-year-old concretae block structure, was closed due to changes in building codes.
In 2005, the last surviving Trustee of the Spring Lake Civic Association, owners of the building, gifted the 2,600 square foot building and the 1.8 acre of land upon which it stands to the Sandhills Family Heritage Association.
In 2007, the Mayor of Spring Lake signed a Proclamation designating the Civic Center a “Building of Historical Significance.”
While SFHA cannot use the building until it is renovated, the organization continues to operate its Farmers Market, special events, heritage tours and historic reenaactments on the Civic Center building land.
Your Donation Will Help to Renovate the Historic Civic Center Building
The communities in Cumberland County, who value the Civic Center as an integral part of their history, have raised $10,000 toward renovation costs. The renovation will cost much more, but SFHA will use the $25,000 raised through our GoFundMe campaign to start the process with a roof replacement and other stablizing work to preserve the building until grant funds are secured to fully fund the renovation.
The Future Sandhills Heritage Center
The renovated Civic Center will reopen as the Sandhills Heritage Center, where SFHA and the community will implement sustainable economic development, small business development and neighborhood revitalization.
The renovated facility will house African-American cultural exhibits, a small business incubator, a community kitchen, and meeting spaces for community education programs.