Once located in Washington, D.C., ITPA's National Office and Museum relocated in 2001 to the small, beautiful city of Hinesville in Liberty County, Georgia. Nestled beneath the majestic oaks draped elegantly with Spanish moss, the National Office occupies the former family home of Glenn E. and Trudie Bryant. Mr. Bryant was a pioneer for Hinesville, Liberty County and the telephone industry alike. He was the founder of Coastal Communications. He bought the Hinesville Telephone Company in 1946, later acquired the Coastal Telephone Company in Richmond Hill, GA and merged the two under the name of Coastal Utilities (now operating as CenturyLink). Bryant, who died in 1999, also served as a Georgia State Senator and was a visionary in business, political, community and charitable ventures. His philanthropic legacy is carried on by the work of the Trudie and Glenn E. Bryant Family Foundation.
The 150-acre property, located in the heart of Hinesville, was donated to the family foundation and was envisioned as a "passive park" by Mr. and Mrs. Bryant. Through a joint venture with the Bryant Family Foundation and the City of Hinesville, plans for "Bryant Commons" were developed and include an outdoor amphitheater, 15-acre fishing pond and walking trails. Plans are currently underway to include a community center pavilion, picnic areas, renovations to existing buildings and a Veterans Memorial Park.
The former "main house" on the property has been moderately renovated to accommodate the daily office operations of the ITPA Executive Director, as well as house the museum displays and provide storage for the hundreds of artifacts that outline the history of the telephone industry. Future development calls for potential expansion of the museum to a larger building on the property, but ITPA will continue to call Bryant Commons home. Plans are in development to construct a memorial within the "main house" and outside in the garden to pay homage the Bryant's, in honor of their dedication to leadership and community service.
The museum consists of a vast collection of telephones and telephone equipment from throughout history. Children and adults alike may find it fascinating to see how the telephone evolved from the solid wood, wall mounted, hand cranked, operator directed, simplistic designs of the past to today's pocket sized, touch-screen, cellular phones.
The library was dedicated on November 5, 2016 in memory of James E. McCartney.
The James E. McCartney Independent Telephone Hall of Fame Library
Among the collection are books that illustrate the history of telecommunications, most notably Telephone Engineering & Management, America’s Network, Telephony and ABC Training Manuals. The museum collection includes a vast array of telephony literature and provides a comfortable and quiet reading area for those interested in learning about the evolution of telecommunications.