At its Board of Trustees meeting of the William Harris Homestead Foundation on August 17, 2019, the Board voted to change the name of the William Harris Homestead to William Harris Homestead Museum and Education Center. The decision is based on the ever-expanding mission as a conservator of the artifacts, buildings, and culture of one of the earliest settlements in Walton County. The educational mission has exceeded the highly successful school field trip program to include university experiential and research programs and opportunities for individuals to learn about ancestral history.
In other discussion, the Board is making plans to update the pavilion area to include expanded catering facilities. The group toured the facility, which is ideal for weddings and other group events, to see the addition of all-weather curtains, heaters, and the use of the historic corn crib as an artifact exhibit.
Slated for future discussion is the addition of other local community members to the Board. DeDe Harris joined the Board in June and is the first non-family member to do so. The Foundation was formed when the children of Hubert and Jessie Harris donated 50 acres of land to be preserved in perpetuity in a non-profit organization instead of being divided among the family. It has succeeded through grants, memberships, donations from supporters and other William Harris descendants, and an enormous amount of volunteer time and energy. It is now a viable and integral component in the history of Walton County.