The South Hill Chamber of Commerce held their Grand Reopening on Tuesday, April 6. Members were treated to an exclusive first look at the newly renovated depot and enjoy a boxed lunch from Kahills. Where there were once small individual rooms is now an open and inviting area. The train museum is still housed in the back of the building while a large tourist information desk and seating area separates the museum and the front offices. Through the modern upgrades the Chamber managed to keep the history intact with a display of historical photos and items. There is even a replica of the old train schedule. All of the furnishings and materials were provided by local Chamber members including Karobway Furniture, Paint+ Lighting and Design, Graham Hardware, Home Depot, Crisman’s Appliance, South Hill Auto Glass, Lost Treasures, and Xtreme Signs and Graphics LLC. Décor staging partners included Karobway Furniture, Gavin’s House of Flowers and Gifts, Lundy Layne, Memory Makers, Flowers on Main, and Buds & Blossoms.
“The whole goal when remodeling was to promote and involve our members and to make it consistent so that the whole building, not that there was anything wrong with it the way that it was, but we wanted to homage to the history of the town and the building while still making it welcoming to new visitors,” said Chamber Executive Director Shannon Lambert.
At the start of the reconstruction, Frank Malone was serving as the Executive Director of the Chamber. “The late Frank Malone, of course, was a vital part of the South Hill Community at large for years. He gave 20 years as Executive Director of the Chamber and he was the Executive Director when the demolition and renovation started. He knew a lot of the history and I was able to grab some of the things that he had in storage from people in the community. Frank gave more than 20 years of his life being the Voice of South Hill,” said Lambert.