The public is invited to tour the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce’s new home during the official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

The ceremony, which will include refreshments, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at 401 W. Main St. (the historic Dilley Building) in downtown Palestine.

“This is a chance for everyone to stop in and see what we’ve done with the building,” Gay Fuller, chamber executive director, said.

Built as Victorian Italianate commercial architecture in 1882 by Nicholas J. Clayton, the Dilley Building was deeded by the Dilley family in 1990 to the Palestine Junior Service League. The PJSL deeded the building to the Chamber of Commerce in December 2002 for the purpose of moving to a new location.

Dilley descendant Frances Broyles will be on hand for the ceremony Thursday, as well as PJSL members.

For the past few years, the chamber of commerce has worked to restore the building.

“The inside of the building was basically a shell — we replaced the floors, walls, air, electrical and plumbing,” Fuller said. “The Junior Service League had maintained the outside of the building.”

The chamber office moved from its Queen Street location to its new building on March 11.

“We have much more visibility now with our new building,” Fuller said. “Visitors want to come in and see the building.”

Those who plan to attend the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday are asked to RSVP by calling 903-729-6066 or e-mailing palestineareacofc@earthlink.net.

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