The oldest building on Hilton Head Island has a brand-new addition, thanks to an Eagle Scout project. And the beneficiaries are anyone interested in the island's history.
Scout Jacob Palchak, 16, and his Troop 245 built and installed eight benches and a lectern next to the Baynard Mausoleum, off William Hilton Parkway at Mathews Drive.
This addition allows the Heritage Library, which owns the site, to offer comfortable presentations about the island's historic patriots, planters and other pioneers.
The lectern is portable. The materials were donated or offered at a reduced rate by Espy Lumber on Hilton Head Island.
The benches, which were set into concrete foundations, were built at Jacob's house. He lives in Hilton Head Plantation with his parents, Dori and Alan Palchak.
Jacob has been accepted to the Governor's School for Math and Science in Hartsville, where he will complete his last two years of high school.
The Bargain Box of Hilton Head Island donated the funding for the construction of the speaker's platform, constructed by local contractor Kyle Mulligan.
In addition, the VanLandingham Rotary Club donated the funds needed to add electricity to the site for a speaker system and lighting for programs.
The Baynard Mausoleum was built in 1846 (more than 60 years before the Boy Scouts came into existence) as part of the Zion Chapel of Ease Cemetery. The chapel is gone but historic graves remain.
The Heritage Library presents tours of the site every Friday at 10 a.m. To sign up, oro to contribute to the campaign to restore and maintain the site, visit www.HeritageLib.org or call 843-686-6560.
Linda Piekut is the executive director of the Heritage Library on Hilton Head Island. www.heritagelib.org