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What does "Thronateeska" mean?

A Muskogee word that generally means "flint picking up place," among other translations, Thronateeska was a name for the area around present-day Albany and the Flint River in Southwest Georgia.

Our History

In 1974, concerned and community-spirited citizens championed the cause for revitalization of the historic downtown railroad depot area. Thronateeska Heritage Foundation, Inc. resulted from the merger of the Southwest Georgia Historical Society, organized in 1969, and the Albany Junior Museum, Inc., founded in 1959 by the Junior League of Albany.

Through Thronateeska’s efforts, the 1913 Union Station depot, located in what is now known as Heritage Plaza, was preserved as a legendary landmark, converted into a museum, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

The Wetherbee Planetarium was originally opened in the old Railway Express Agency (REA) building in 1980.

In 1982, the Tift Warehouse, constructed in 1857 as the original passenger and freight depot, the REA building, and Albany’s last remaining brick street were added to the National Register and listed as Albany’s Railroad Depot Historic District. 

A new Wetherbee Planetarium and Science Museum were constructed between the REA and the Fryer-Merritt House in 2008. The new building incorporated architectural features of the original 1926 Central Georgia Roundhouse on the façade of the building. 

Other historic structures have been relocated to the Plaza to preserve them.  The Fryer-Merritt House, built in the 1880’s at 411 Pine Avenue, was relocated to Heritage Plaza in 1994 and renovated. The Hilsman Kitchen was originally moved from the home site of Dr. Hilsman (one of Albany’s first doctors) to Heritage Plaza in 1977 and placed next to the REA building. 

A new archival repository was added on to the administrative offices at the Fryer-Merritt house and opened October 1, 2014.

Our Purpose

The purpose of this corporation, as outlined in Section 4, the Third Article of the "Agreement and Plan of Consolidation" dated May 2, 1974, between Albany Area Junior Museum, Inc, and Southwest Georgia Historical Society, Inc. is as follows:

Our Mission:

Thronateeska Heritage Center inspires wonder and stimulates exploration of science and South Georgia's history by providing a dynamic learning experience through an interactive science center and museum.