In 1986, Martin County opened a new Governmental Center which included spacious new courtrooms. The old courthouse that had served the county for nearly a century was no longer needed. It was seen as a liability on property that was more valuable—to some—as parking space for the new Governmental Center.
But there were many who felt differently about the old castle-like structure. Some decided to do something about the potential loss. They formed Friends of Old Martin County Courthouse, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to raise money and begin an adaptive restoration of the building. This all-volunteer group has operated the organization since then.
It would not be easy, or quick, but they were determined to bring the old building back to life as a cultural center for the community and for the region. Martin County had lost two courthouses already. This one would not meet the same fate. And in the end, it would become something even more valuable.
Friends of Old Martin County Courthouse is governed by an all-volunteer board of 13 directors. The project architect serves as a technical advisor to the board.
Friends of Old Martin County Courthouse, Inc. is a non-profit corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of North Carolina for the purpose of preserving, restoring, and maintaining the Old Martin County Courthouse, a historical monument. The corporation has no members.
Friends of Old Martin County Courthouse are governed by a 13-member, all-volunteer Board of Directors. The Board elects its successor directors to serve on the Board. The organization received its 501(a) and 503(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service as of 9/16/91 and operates under Federal ID # 56-1542620. The State of North Carolina assigned tax-exempt status under NC General Statutes Sections 105-125 and 105-130.11(3) on August 31, 1987.