Conservation works underway at ancestral home of former US president

The Andrew Jackson Centre.
The Andrew Jackson Centre.

One of Mid and East Antrim's most cherished tourism attractions is currently undergoing conservation works as part of an investment in local tourism.

The Andrew Jackson Centre in Boneybefore, Carrickfergus is the ancestral home of the seventh President of the United States.

The centre consists of a refurbished traditional thatched Ulster–Scots farmhouse, which is known to have been built in the 1750s and was home to Jackson's parents shortly before they emigrated to South Carolina.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said she was delighted the council had announced an investment in one of the borough’s top tourist attractions.

She added: “We are hugely proud of our links to Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, and when making a visit to the cottage you really are stepping back in time to the 1750s.

“The conservation work includes re-thatching the current roof, safeguarding against damp and upgrading some of the cottage’s interior and exterior features."

The works are due to continue until next May, when it is planned to reopen the cottage to visitors from across Northern Ireland and further afield.

Last year, the adjacent US Rangers Museum was the recipient of a substantial award from the US Embassy’s small grants programme for their innovative programme which supported the refurbishment of the museum on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the elite American commando unit formed in the town in June 1942.

The Museum, operated by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, opened in 1994, following a 50th anniversary reunion, which saw more than a dozen veterans from the 1st Battalion, US Rangers revisit the place of their unit’s birth.

They generously gave their memorabilia and shared their memories to create a permanent exhibition centre which explores the unit’s history.