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I keep forgetting to tell you Tony Mercer has added more digitized newspapers to the website ringgoldcounty.advantage-preservation.com. Many different newspapers covering several decades.
Recently, the Ringgold County Board of Supervisors hosted an informational meeting to encourage the formation of a Ringgold County Historical Preservation Commission. This issue comes up about every fifteen years. I remember attending a meeting about 2004 which I think resulted in the sidewalk being built on the perimeter of the courtyard and probably some other things.
I did not attend the recent meeting. I’ve been preserving Ringgold County history for nineteen years. I like my method and the results and I’m not inclined to try and do something that other people can do better than me. I would, however, be more than happy to share the information I’ve collected in nearly twenty years. For example, I know the year every building on the Mount Ayr square was built except one, the former Greggo’s Pizza building. I don’t know that one.
I’ve got about eighty folders on my hard drive containing information about buildings in Ringgold County. Unfortunately, the folders are full of other information, as well, so one might have to dig a little to find what one wants.
I was digging through a box of stuff at the Mount Ayr Depot Museum and found a folder dated 1988 detailing the buildings in the Mount Ayr business district. This folder was created by the Preservation Partnership and other entities. The list attempted to give the year a building was erected and the nature of the businesses contained within. Each building was also evaluated as to historical designation eligibility. Whatever that means. I do know that if a historical building has been moderately modified, it is no longer eligible to be a National Register of Historic Places candidate.
This week’s picture is that of the Mount Ayr Depot being restored about 1994 as I see the new roof. The restoration process began in 1992 and would be complete in 2000. The museum is operated by the Mount Ayr Depot Preservation Corp., a non-profit organization, and I am the current secretary. The Preservation Partnership, which started the restoration project, later became the Mount Ayr Depot Preservation Corp.
One thing people need to know about saving a building is the maintenance, repairs, and upkeep that follows. There’s also liability insurance, moving, snow removal, electric and water bills, and cleaning. And there may be difficult decisions to be made about usage of the building. What I’m saying is…”play the tape all the way through”……