COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The executive director of the Ma Rainey House and Blues Museum spoke as the local history spotlight guest at the Columbus Public Library on Thursday.

The executive director, Florene Dawkins shared the history of “the mother of the blues” and how much her legacy means to the city of Columbus. The history session was then followed by a tour of the historic Ma Rainey Museum of Blues. 

WRBL spoke with Dawkins about the process involved in bringing the house back to its previous glory after being purchased by the city in 1991.

“Congressman Sanford Bishop enabled us to give to Save America’s Treasures Grant, which I wrote the grant for the house. It was $149,000, and it was matched with another $149,000. I mean, we took the shambles of what you see on the picture and made it this — the legacy of Ma Rainey,” said Dawkins.   

The Ma Rainey House will be closing for maintenance around December or January of 2024. Free tours are available Tuesday to Saturday during regular business hours.