TV show host to speak at Donnell House

A local TV show host will discuss how best to preserve household history in perhaps the most famous of Athens houses, the Donnell House.

Ken Rivenbark, creator and host of “Southern Heirlooms with Ken Rivenbark,” will be guest speaker at the Donnell House’s annual membership meeting, which is open to the public.

“We are really excited to have him because he comes from a great background with antiquities,” said Ida Terry, Donnell House Foundation president.


The meeting is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the Donnell House, 601 1/2 S. Clinton St., Athens. Rivenbark will present ways for adults to preserve heirlooms and history while also sharing tips for getting younger family members in on the adventure.

“We hope he will approve of the furnishings we have,” Terry said. “It’s a good thing for Athens to have somebody like that here.”

The meeting will also provide a way for Donnell House members to share their own adventures and accomplishments in maintaining the home, which was built in 1851. In the years since its construction, the House has provided shelter to the Donnell family, Union soldiers in the Civil War, multiple principals, a superintendent and students of a boys school, among others.


Seated in the center of the old Athens Middle School campus, the Donnell House is now primarily used for tours and special events. Membership with the house is $25 and helps support the cost of maintaining it.

Terry said those who attend the membership meeting will be welcome to enjoy refreshments and explore the Donnell House after the meeting.