Hello, everyone. Welcome to 2019. Ready for spring yet? January
hasn't been kind to us so far. Outdoor Christmas decorations were
removed from the mansion on Wednesday, January 9. That work crew
consisted of Bill Egelhoff, Ralph Scheldt, Jeff Link, Wally
Pocklington, and Dan Hauter. In spite of last weekend's snow the
historical society was open for business on Wednesday, January 16.
Yes, we had a stuck vehicle or two but we still had the house, the
genealogy building, and the blacksmith shop open. Now we'll see what
Mother Nature throws our way this coming weekend. Whatever we get
we'll survive. Remember that spring is coming.
2018 was a good year for MCHS. Both festivals were successful
although temperatures in the 90's hindered the Fall Festival. People
don't stay as long when they're hot and they don't buy as much food or
drinks. Harvest was also in full swing when our Fall Festival rolled
around. At least we had no mud! Our 2018 Christmas Show was one of
our most successful ever due to mild winter weather. I hope that you
got to see the mansion all decorated for Christmas. Deb Wiles and
Kendra Mize deserve a tremendous amount of credit for all of their
long hours and hard work decorating the inside of the house. Bill
Egelhoff headed up the work crew that decorated the outside of the
house. Thank you to all of the other volunteers who worked so hard to
make the festivals a success. It was a lot of hard work but
definitely worth it.
The following information is provided to update members, guests, and
others who are interested in our historical society.
Board of Directors:
Dan Hauter, President phone: 217-710-8056 e-mail:
Bill Egelhoff, Vice President phone: 618-729-3295 e-mail:
Libby Klocke, Secretary phone: 217-965-4563 e-mail:
Jeff Link phone: 217-854-3305
Wally Pocklington phone: 217-825-4448 e-mail:
Ralph Scheldt phone: 217-370-0485 e-mail:
Linda Waggoner phone: 618-729-9328 e-mail:
Wes Loveless phone: 217-854-9982
Treasurer: Dave Hockett, phone: 217-685-0022, e-mail:
Bill Egelhoff's and Linda Waggoner's terms expire this spring. We're
looking for members who are interested in being directors. If
interested please contact any director. Candidates for director will
be nominated and an election held at the annual meeting on March 18.
New directors will be seated at the monthly board meeting in March and
new officers will be elected.
Libby Klocke is our genealogy librarian. Dave Hockett is our liason
to the blacksmith shop. Nancy Mihalek is in charge of the vendors.
Nancy's phone number is 217-556-4853 and her e-mail address is
firstname.lastname@example.org. Jeff Link, Ralph Scheldt, and Dave McKee are
in charge of the Red Barn Kitchen. John Mabus is president of the
Macoupin Agricultural Antique Association. His phone number is
217-556-0406. Barb McCormick, Janelle Ramey, and Fannie Pocklington
are in charge of the mansion. Barb is in charge of scheduling tours
and events such as weddings. Janelle Ramey and Fannie Pocklington are
the editors for our newsletter.
SCHEDULED EVENTS FOR 2019.
The MCHS annual meeting will be held on Monday, March 18 at the
Gillespie Civic Center. Doors will open at 6:00 PM and the meal will
start at 6:30 PM. A short business meeting will be held after the
meal and then a speaker from Holy Dormition of the Theotokos Orthodox
Parish in Benld will tell us about the history and present mission of
the church. The annual meeting is open to the public. Please contact
Dan Hauter to make reservations by March 1.
The Spring Festival will be May 25 & 26. The feature tractors for
both festivals are Ferguson, Massey Harris, Massey Ferguson, and Ford.
The Fall Festival will be September 21 & 22.
The Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association Hammer-In will be held on
November 2 from 9 AM to 4 PM in the blacksmith shop.
The Christmas Show will be December 6, 7, and 8.
Our 1st Monday of the month meetings will be held starting on April 1
and concluding on November 4. The first Monday in September is Labor
Day so that meeting will be held on September 9. These meetings are
held at 7 PM in the Ruyle Building which is handicap accessible and
air conditioned. The meetings are open to the public and include a
speaker and refreshments. The board is looking for someone to take
charge of these meetings. Please contact any director if interested.
The October meeting is our annual wiener roast and will be held at the
IMPORTANT PROJECT FOR 2019.
Our mansion is on the Register of Historic Places, it serves as our
"trademark", and the original part of the house is approaching 150
years old. It needs help. On January 9 board members walked around
the mansion and chose a starting point for restoration. The south
porch is in poor shape. For those who don't know, the porch was once
just a regular, although fancy, front porch. The upper floor of the
porch was added because one of the Anderson daughters had
tuberculosis, it was believed at the time that exposure to sunlight
would help cure TB, so the sun porch was added to allow the daughter
to spend time, indoors, in the sunlight. The porch needs a complete
restoration. Father Time and Mother Nature have done their damage.
One need only walk to the porch and take a close look. Look up at all
the rotted wood gutters and and trim. The porch is only the starting
point. Rot has occurred all over the exterior of the house. The
windows, wood gutters, and trim need to be replaced. This is a multi
year project and we must start this year or watch our beloved house
deteriorate further. We put a new furnace in the house a few years
ago and this cost approximately $18,000. The Red Barn kitchen was
renovated, largely with volunteer labor and donations from local
businesses, at low cost. In 2018 we spent approximately $7500.
putting a new metal roof on the Red Barn pavilion and repairing damage
to the trusses from a leaky roof. A new roof was put on the church
about three years ago because of storm damage. The cost of replacing
the deteriorated portions of the mansion will be much more than what
we've done to date. Obviously the height and size of the mansion is a
factor. Eventually the mansion will need a new roof and this is a
project that will need to be hired out. Volunteer labor can only do
so much, then we'll have to rely on professionals to do the work. For
this reason we need to start raising money to fund this renovation
project. The board members have discussed making a public appeal for
funding, using our Facebook page to solicit donations, and seeking out
grants. We have requested a $25. donation per session from
professional photographers taking pictures on our grounds and we
discussed raising dues. The board members will keep members and the
public informed of our progress.
The granary, the little red building opposite the general store, is
one of the few original buildings on the property. It is elevated
above ground level on piers. The building needs to be raised and the
piers redone. The Conklin house is vacant and the board has decided
not to rent it again. Currently we are using it for storage. The
house is very old, possibly as old as the mansion. It has at least
one hand hewed beam in it. It could be renovated as a historic
farmhouse and opened during festivals. But it, too, needs major work.
The wooden barn behind the Conklin house has fallen in and needs to be
demolished. We plan to continue to use the two metal additions to the
barn for storage.
The projects mentioned above are in addition to ongoing maintenance.
Charlie Fritz, Jim Foster, and Dave Elliott do a fantastic job of
keeping our grounds mowed and trimmed and picking up fallen limbs.
The board purchased a new John Deere zero turn, commercial grade mower
a few years ago and this mower has served us well and should continue
to do so for several more years. The other mower is an older John
Deere commercial mower that was purchased used and is needing more and
more repairs. Eventually it will need to be replaced at an estimated
cost of $9000. to $10,000. Looking at the acres of lawn that must be
mowed regularly it's easy to understand why we need two commercial
Our historical society owns about 27 acres and a number of buildings.
The board members and volunteers work all year long to keep up with
the maintenance needs. Tasks range from filling potholes on our
driveways to patching roofs to fixing the occasional broken window.
We have plumbing and electrical issues, doors and drawers that don't
open or close like they should, trees that need trimmed or taken down,
brush to cut, and mechanical issues. A number of people work very
hard to prepare for and clean up after festivals and the Christmas
Show. The list goes on and on. The board members and volunteers are
very conscious about cost and work hard to keep expenses down. We
hire work done only when we can't do it ourselves.
LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE.
We have beautiful grounds and buildings. We're looking at increased
costs to maintain our assets. Increased fundraising is the key to our
continuing progress as a vibrant organization. We hope that our
members and the public will agree that it's worth the cost to renovate
our mansion and maintain the rest of our buildings and grounds. Your
input on how to increase our fundraising and our income from festivals
Looking forward to seeing everyone at our annual meeting.
Dan Hauter, President.Type your paragraph here.