Most people don’t know much about the beige house near the lake in Murphey Candler Park. With its peeling paint, it can get lost alongside the baseball fields and shimmering lake.
But the Friends of Murphey Candler Park see the building as a historic anchor of the park that will be an important piece of its future.
The advocacy group is working with DeKalb County to take over the structure, most commonly referred to as the Sea Scout Hut.
DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Director Roy Wilson said the county plans to turn the facility over to the Friends of Murphey Candler Park. “Right now our legal department has a lease agreement and it’s going through the review stages,” Wilson said.
Shane Boyer, co-chair of the Friends of Murphey Candler Park, said his organization sprang to action in December when they learned the county was considering demolishing the Sea Scout Hut.
“Once (DeKalb County) heard opposition to tearing the building down, they decided to hold off. Since then, they’ve been very good to work with,” Boyer said.
The group is hoping to take over the maintenance of the building and include it in a master plan for the future of Murphey Candler Park.
“We’re still very excited as a group to use that building and put it into good working order and use it as our headquarters,” Boyer said.
The group is working toward a comprehensive master plan that would outline future goals to improve the park.
“I think that the number one goal is to get the master plan going, but the time to save that building is now and it works great for our purposes as a headquarters,” Boyer said. “From a structural standpoint it’s in good shape. We’re excited about doing something and giving back to the community.”
The Friends of Murphey Candler Park have been working to piece together the history of the house known as the Sea Scout Hut.
“We’ve definitely identified that the home has some historical value,” Boyer said. “We’ve learned a lot so far and hopefully we’ll learn a little bit more.”
The house likely dates back to the early 1900s and was moved into Murphey Candler Park in the 1950s when the park was built. It served as the home of the park’s caretaker until the 1970s.
“The Sea Scouts originally had a building on the other side of the lake that burned to the ground. That happened sometime in the 1970s,” Boyer said. “The caretaker had moved out of the house at this point, so they decided to move in there.”
Boyer said the Sea Scouts used the building until the 1990s, when AmeriCorps moved in and used it for several years.
Currently, it is vacant.
Boyer said the group would love to have a more comprehensive history of the building.
“If anybody has some information out there we would love to hear it,” he said. “It’s a piece of the park’s history in a very instrumental way.”