Aug. 18--DELPHI -- Carroll County Historical Society is getting a new home.
The society received a grant from the Tippecanoe Arts Federation and North Central Health Services to renovate the Pierce Stone Barn on North Washington Street in order to move the county's history museum and genealogical records there.
Society representatives are accepting proposals for the renovations now. Steve Mulligan, president of the society's board of directors, said the group hopes to install a new furnace and central air, repair the building's roof and add an exterior stairwell to bring the upper story in line with fire codes.
Depending how proposals shake out, the society may build an addition onto the north side of the building, Mulligan said. "That would give us an enormous amount of space."
The Pierce Stone Barn was built in 1904 by the James M. Pierce Macadam Co. to store road construction equipment, according to Carroll County's website. Pierce's company built several iron bridges and roads in the county as well as the belt line railroad. Most recently, the building housed offices and activity space for area senior citizens' organizations until those organizations moved to a new building in the late 2000s.
At that point, the City of Delphi -- then the building's owners -- decided to effectively donate it to CCHS.
"The commissioners were needing room in the courthouse," Delphi Mayor Randy Strasser said, so giving CCHS the building would allow the organization to leave the courthouse basement where it's currently housed.
The barn seemed a perfect fit, Strasser added. "You look at it on the outside, it just looks like a museum."
CCHS has already spent more than $10,000 cleaning out the building, Mulligan estimated. Bats had invaded through compromised soffits around the roof and left their mark, he explained.
Mulligan's goal is to remove the society's genealogical records out of the county museum before the weather turns cold, he said. "It'll be kind of tight, but it'll fit for the time being."
Groups that currently use the barn for meeting space should still have access, he added.
Reach Sarah Einselen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151.
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