The history of the Guinea Heritage Association (GHA) is one of transition and growth.
What began in 1979 as a local celebration of the Guinea community soon outgrew the Plaza Pharmacy parking lot. Thanks to the Abingdon Ruritan Club, the event moved to the safer, more spacious Ruritan Grounds.
In 1995 – the Guinea Jubilee’s 16th year–the GJ applied for non-profit status. At this time, the Guinea Heritage Association, Ltd., was formed as the umbrella organization, and the Guinea Jubilee was designated as its main fundraising event.
The dream to establish a museum, and to preserve the historic integrity at the intersection of Mark Pine and Guinea roads, began to take shape when the Old Studebaker dealership property was donated to the GHA (1997).
The purpose of the GHA has always been to celebrate the local culture. Toward that end, in 2002, the GHA expanded to include the Guinea Heritage Day. The first Sunday after Labor Day, the GHA and the GJ honor the local community by announcing the Grand Marshal for the GJ and unveiling the winning print for the year. All of the profits from the sale of the prints and cake sales go to the Museum Building Fund.
With the “Christmas at Buck’s” event in December of 2016, the GHA joined with the C.B. Rowe Memorial Foundation and began plans to collaborate on opening Buck’s as a public museum with future plans to build on the lot across the street to create a community hub – a local “historic triangle.”
Guinea Jubilee/Guinea Heritage Association History
1979 – 1st Greater Guinea Jubilee was held in the Plaza Pharmacy shopping center parking lot
1981 – 1st GJ parade and Buck Rowe was the Grand Marshal
1992 –GJ was moved to the Abingdon Ruritan Grounds
1994 – First poster/print contest
1995 – GHA became incorporated as a non-profit organization; the student art contest for the program was initiated
1996 – The documentary They Live in Guinea premiered on WHRO
1997 – The old Studebaker dealership donated to the GHA*
2001 – First Guinea Heritage Day held in the Ruritan Club
2002 – The CB ROWE, Jr., Memorial and Guinea Museum Foundation, Inc. was established.
2003 – A 25th Anniversary visit from “Isabel” postponed the Jubilee
2006 – First Fireworks
2009 – THIRTY YEARS
2012 – The old Studebaker building is torn down; Artist’s reception (at Buck’s store); first cookbook.
2013 First Miss Guinea Jubilee Pageant