Alex Haley Home Celebrates Improvements, Welcomes the Return of Visitors

The Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center in Henning recently celebrated two centennial anniversaries and a restoration project for the state historic site.

On Aug. 11, the museum celebrated the esteemed author’s 100th birthday. Haley was born Aug. 11, 1921. Two days later, the museum celebrated the centennial of Haley’s historic Craftsman-style bungalow. The home was built in 1919, but the pandemic precluded an earlier celebration, said museum Site Manager Richard Griffin.

To mark both occasions, the museum hosted a community festival on the following Saturday with music, food and entertainment.

The celebrations followed more than a year after the completion of a $500,000 state project to renovate and restore parts of the home, as well as the interpretive center built in 2010.

Again because of COVID-19, the museum didn’t hold a ceremony to mark the project’s completion in June 2020.

The pandemic has also depressed visitor traffic because the museum isn’t getting tour busses and international travelers like it used to, Griffin said. Historic sites across the country are experiencing the same shortfall, but Griffin said he is hoping to see increased numbers as the pandemic wanes and more people return.

“We want everyone to know and understand that we are still here,” Griffin said. “We are still open for group tours and individual tours. We’re hoping there will be a revitalization of folks visiting.”