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THC Staff
Tommy Gregors,
Executive Director
Shay Meredith, Curator
Bobbie Yandell,
Records Manager
Allison Young, Archivist/Collection Assistant
Rachel Melcher, Archivist/Collection Assistant
Phyllis Broome,
Museum Guide
Jim Friese,
Staff Astronomer
Austin Fowler,
Museum Assistant
Jerry Funderburk,
Grounds Maintenance

What does "Thronateeska" mean?

The word "Thronateeska" has been used and interpreted in Southwest Georgia as the Creek Native American name for the Flint River. The word probably relates to a Creek village called "Thronateeska" that existed over 300 years ago on the banks of the Flint River near Albany.

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 building in 1980.

A new Wetherbee Planetarium and Science Museum was constructed between the Railway Express Agency building 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. 

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. 

Other historic structures have been relocated to the Plaza to preserve historic structures.  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.  When the new Wetherbee Planetarium and Science Museum were built, the Hilsman Kitchen was disassembled and reassembled inside the new building.

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:

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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.


2015 Foundation Board
Michelle Bates, President
Bill Mitchell, Vice President
Bonnie Hardegree,
Ron Simpson, Treasurer
Bill Bates
Patty Belt
Harold Boling
Mike Brown
Valerie Buchanan
Stewart Campbell
Phil Cannon
Jenny Collins
Greg Fullerton
Susan Harper
Chanta Haywood Emily Jean McAfee
Mary Joe McGee
Debra Rowe
Duncan Singletary
Anne Stokes
Jimmie Swann
Shannon Turner
Selena Winfield