Posted: July 23, 2020
Although the Winneshiek County Historical Society’s office has been closed to walk-in traffic since the pandemic emerged in late March, work has continued both outside and inside the office.
The entrance to the WCHS office at 302 S. Mill Street is sporting a new look. Porch columns, ceiling, door, and window trim have been stripped, repaired, caulked, primed and painted by Ron and Sandy Stover. The Stovers are also continuing to strip, caulk, prime, and paint the rest of the trim on the first-floor windows and doors, with west and south sides completed. Historic metal work has been stripped of paint and restored by the Stovers, and vintage hooks on the front porch have been stripped and given a baked historic coating to preserve their metal finish by David Wadsworth. Shingling and roof repair, soffit, and fascia repair are slated for late summer, and attic insulating and other efforts to conserve energy will also be accomplished before the winter heating season.
When the office reopens to foot traffic, it will be easier for patrons to locate. A new sign at the office entrance directs patrons to the Winneshiek County Heritage Center, the new designation for the Winneshiek County Historical Society headquarters. The sign was painted by Elizabeth Lorentzen and recently installed by Jerry Thompson and Ron Stover. Improvement and maintenance of the grounds also continues with Ron and Sandy Stover heading up that project.
Work has also been carried on inside the office. The Historical Society volunteers have continued to research questions that people have emailed or called in, as well as accepting donations of family histories, photos, and other historic memorabilia. Some interesting photos of vintage homes, historic photos of local families and their stories have been received, and the WCHS research database and offerings continue to grow. The Society’s newsletter is sent out regularly keeping members apprised of current happenings.
The Historical Society looks forward to the day when they can again serve patrons face-to-face. Until that time, they can be contacted with questions and research requests via their email, firstname.lastname@example.org or their office phone, 563-382-4166. Their website, www.winneshiekcountyhistoricalsociety.com updates current WCHS happenings. Patrons can also explore the digitized vintage county newspapers online at http://winneshiekcounty.advantage-preservation.com produced as a project in collaboration with the Luther College Library. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Winneshiek County Historical Society may contact them by calling or emailing the WCHS office.