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The History of

The Beal Center 

Old picture of The Beal Center

The Historic Clay County Courthouse, situated on the Square in downtown Hayesville, has a rich

history. It was constructed in the Italianate Vernacular style by local craftsman Captain J. S.

Anderson from 1887-1888, at a cost of $7800. The courthouse replaced the original wooden

structure, which burned down on May 20, 1870, destroying all early county records. The

Historic Courthouse served as the county's courthouse until the early 21st century when the

present-day courthouse was constructed outside of downtown Hayesville.

Despite falling into disrepair, the building was stabilized and renovated in 1998 by the Clay

County Communities Revitalization Association (CCCRA), a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The CCCRA

obtained funds for improvements such as repairing and stabilizing the foundation, renovating

the exterior, installing commemorative brick walks, planting trees, and repainting the

gazebo/bandstand. In 2000, CCCRA launched a project to stabilize the courthouse exterior and

replace the dilapidated windows. The window replacement was funded by Clay County citizens.

In May 2010, CCCRA began a plan to rehabilitate the courthouse and restore it to its rightful

place as the heart of Clay County. In 2017, exterior repairs to the roof system, steeple, and

brickwork were undertaken. Following a generous contribution by a locally born benefactor,

CCCRA had sufficient funds to undertake restoration of the interior in 2017-2018. The building

was renovated in a style consistent with its roots and repurposed as a community and event

center, The Beal Center, which was rededicated and renamed on July 21, 2018, 130 years after the original


The Historic Courthouse and Square has always stood as the heart of the community. The

grounds served as a playground for the town children and a meeting place for farm families on

Saturdays. The Historic Courthouse and Square continues to serve as a meeting place for

community events such as the CCCRA Summer Concert Series, Clay County Rotary Club Car-B-

Que, Clay County Historical & Arts Festival, HHI's Steins & Wines, the Pet Fair, Tractor Parade,

Agricultural Day, and the Lighting of the Square and Christmas Parade. The Beal Center itself

continues to host weddings, family reunions, birthday parties, fundraisers, meetings, concerts,

and much more.

The Historic Courthouse has become a treasured place for many in the community. Preserving

the heritage of the Courthouse for both long-time residents and newcomers to the area is at the

heart of CCCRA's mission. The restoration is complete, but CCCRA continues to seek funding to

ensure this cherished place is cared for and welcomes visitors and residents to the downtown

area for the next 130 years. Today, the courthouse and square grounds are operated by the Clay

County Communities Revitalization Association (CCCRA) through grants and donations.

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