GARNAVILLO, Iowa — A group in northeastern Iowa is fundraising to restore a historic clubhouse from 1860 that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Garnavillo Historical Society wants to repair Lodge Hall, which served as community space for fraternal clubs through the end of the 1800s and early 1900s.

Board member Jane Thein told the Telegraph Herald that the group aims to raise $30,000 to install gutters and drain spouts, and to repair the building’s foundation and rotted wood siding. Thein said $10,000 has already been raised.

Lodge Hall was used by several groups, including the local branch of Freemasons. The first floor served as Garnavillo’s first library.

“It was used by all these clubs to hold their secret meetings and their ceremonies,” Thein said. “It’s very interesting to see who used it throughout the years.”

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 as a well-preserved example of Greek Revival architecture.

Thein said historical society members want to turn the second floor into a museum of the building’s history. She said the first floor will be used for community events.

“We want to make it an asset for the community,” Thein said. “It could work really well as a community space.”

City Council Member Bonnie Dietrich said the group has the city’s support.

“It’s a very old building that is a part of our past,” Dietrich said. “I think it’s important that we keep important buildings like this in good shape.”

The group hopes to begin the restoration project this spring.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com