Rock Building fundraiser planned for July 13

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2014


When speaking of the nostalgic value of the Pike Activities Building or “the Rock Building,” perhaps, the late J.C. Harden said it best.

“The Rock Building is made up of little pieces of Pike County and we ought to treasure it,” Harden was quoted as saying in a 1990s edition of “The Messenger.”

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Harden’s sentiment is being expressed all across the county and beyond, said David Helms, who is spearheading the efforts to “Save the Rock Building.”

“On Sunday, July 13, from 2 until 4 p.m., everyone is invited to gather at the Rock Building in downtown Troy to celebrate its 75th anniversary,” Helms said. “At that time, people will have an opportunity to ‘own a piece of the rock’ by donating $10 in seed money toward the fundraising efforts to restore the historic Rock.”

The Rock Building was dedicated on July 12, 1939, so there are few people around who remember that day. But the Rock Building has Pike County’s handprint all over it.

Harden told his story of the historic building, which has, in some way, been a part of the lives of anyone with roots in Pike County.

Harden remembered how the people of Pike County responded in great numbers to the county’s request for field rocks.

“People of all ages toted rocks to contribute to the project,” Harden said. “Just about every farmer that had rocks on his place participated. They would load rocks on wagons and pickup trucks and take them to the construction site.

“Children got involved in picking up and loading rocks. My boys took a lot of pride in being a part of building something so important as an activities building. There was pride in each family that was able to contribute and claim to be a part of it.”

Harden said farmers who didn’t have a means to carry the rocks to town would stack the rocks they had collected by the side of the road and someone would pick them up.”

Harden said there was a good number of tenant farmers and most of them didn’t have a way to get the rocks to town.

“But they wanted to be a part of this building so they did what they could – collect rocks and stack them out by the road.”

Harden was among those who would pick up the rocks stacked along the roadside.

“I’d just bought a new 1937 pickup from Perry Owens Ford in Brundidge,” he said. “It set me back a whopping $615 but I didn’t mind to use it for such a good cause.

“My boys would go with me and we’d pick up our neighbors’ rocks for them. We all felt good about what we were doing.”

At the time of the Messenger article, there was a grassroots effort underway to restore the Rock Building.

Harden said it would be a blessing for him and many other Pike Countians to known the Rock Building would continue to stand as a monument of the persistence of the people of the county and as a memorial to the memories created there.

“The Rock Building has such good memories for those of us who participated in its construction by collecting rocks and those who are better because of the lessons learned inside the walls.”

The 75th anniversary of the dedication of the Rock Building will be held in memory and honor of all those who had a hand in building it and in tribute to those who persistence will preserve a piece of Pike County’s history.