State Historical Society grants awarded in Driftless region

By Roz Weis,

Winneshiek County Historical Society in Decorah, the Bily Clocks Museum & Antonin Dvorak Exhibit in Spillville, and the Friends of Lansing Library were among the 26 recipients of grants awarded this week by the State Historical Society to preserve Iowa’s historical collections and country schools.

The local Historical Society received the grant for repointing of WCHS Landers House North Façade, Phase 1, in the amount of $7,010. This funding will help the Winneshiek County Historical Society raise an additional $7,010 needed to prepare and tuckpoint exterior bricks with lime-based mortar. The work will preserve the north facade (Phase 1) of the historic 1860 soft-brick building for future generations.

Bily Clocks Museum & Antonin Dvorak Exhibit in Spillville received a grant for “protection of Priceless Cultural Artifacts, in the amount of $24,501. This funding will be used to install a new HVAC system that will create a more appropriate temperature and humidity environment for preserving and protecting irreplaceable hand-carved wooden clocks, organs played by Dvorak, and other wood collections.

Friends of the Lansing Library received a $5,097 grant for digitation of Lansing Journal and Lansing Mirror, 1925-2003. The funding will be used to expand a searchable database of Lansing newspapers to include editions from 1925 to 2003. The database currently contains editions from 1863 to 1924, and the expansion will provide researchers additional digital sources of information.

The State Historical Society of Iowa has awarded nearly $600,000 in grants in investing in communities through historic preservation, and promoting Iowa history.

The grants support 26 projects in 24 Iowa communities, from Orange City to Burlington and Greenfield to Decorah. Funding comes from the State Historical Society’s Country School Grant Program and the Historical Resource Development Program, funded through the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program.

“Today’s grant recipients have a strong connection to the history of our state and we’re delighted to partner with them to preserve our past,” State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. “Their passion and commitment to Iowa history will inspire the next generation of Iowans to make sure our state’s legacy lives on. Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients.”

The Country School Grant program helps to preserve or maintain Iowa’s one- or two-room country schools or to provide historical interpretation or educational activities related to the school.

The Historical Resource Development Program grants help preserve, conserve, interpret, enhance and educate the public about historic preservation, museum collections and documentary collections.

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