The Old House Society has been a
Bloomington institution for 34 years. It started as a social group
whose membership got together to discuss restoration of old and
historic houses. They saw old houses being demolished with no
attempt to save valuable parts to be repurposed by people who were
restoring houses. The group decided to start the Old House Society
as a registered nonprofit tasked with saving parts of houses before
they ended up in a landfill.
From that beginning, the Old House Society has grown into a large
undertaking with a 6,000-square-foot warehouse containing everything
the staff and volunteers have been able to save when they are
allowed to access a house scheduled for demolition. The warehouse in
Bloomington is stocked with flooring, doors, headboards and
fireplace tile, just to name a few items. They also have a large
store of hardware from old houses.
But the Old House Society is much
more than a repository of unique and hard-to-find items for
People who are demolishing houses
and give parts to the Old House Society become eligible for
significant tax credits, up to $5,000. In addition, the society
gives grants to those restoring old houses, and members receive a 10
percent discount at the store.
The Old House Society also gives
clinics at their warehouse, at 214 E. Douglas in Bloomington. People
seeking to restore can learn the skills necessary to bring their old
house back to its original glory.
Walden also pointed out that they
have a "Second Thursday" event each month. Wine and hors d'oeuvres
are served at a house that is undergoing restoration, including an
on-site tour of a work in progress.
Completed restorations are given a
"Gift to the Street" award in the form of a bronze plaque that can
be placed on the house, noting the original construction year.
The Old House Society also offers a
helping hand to other nonprofits that can benefit from their
The society's annual house tour
sells out every year. It has become such a popular event in
Bloomington that tickets are being limited this year to 1,000.
The organization also loans items
from their inventory to schools that want to use them in plays and
The society will also sell
non-architectural items they salvage from houses, and all of the
proceeds are given to the owner.
Walden pointed out that many of the
old house items they sell go into new houses, not just restorations.
There is a growing trend to incorporate old items into new houses to
give a new home the feel of an old one. Pocket doors, doors,
headboards and windows used for wall decoration are especially
The Old House Society operates in a
large area of central Illinois, not just Bloomington. They will go
to the Peoria area and locations east of Bloomington. They maintain
additional storage space in Lexington.
With all of their activity, Walden
said that getting the word out about the Old House Society is still
a problem. People tearing down old houses may not know about the
society, or they may think that their soon-to-be-demolished house
may not have anything worth salvaging.
Walden begs anyone thinking about
demolishing a house to contact the Old House Society and let them
make the call on items worth saving. When the society hauls off
items worth saving and reusing, they save homeowners the cost of
having these items hauled to the landfill, and also save landfill
"The Old House Society was into
recycling before it became popular," Walden said.
Walden herself lives in a tiny 1859
house that she restored in Lexington. "I have also restored several
old houses in Bloomington," she said. In fact, that is how she
became familiar with the Old House Society. She bought items from
them for her own projects. One thing led to another and now she is
head of the organization.
Her personal doorknob collection
was on display during her presentation in Lincoln. (See
"I even frequent pawnshops trying
to find vintage doorknobs I can't do without," she said with a
Walden wants to get the word out
that no house should be demolished before the owner contacts the Old
House Society. Their experts can spot parts of houses worth saving,
even if an owner may not see an architectural gem. They can see a
door worth saving that is lurking under five coats of paint. A
complete spiral staircase may be their most unusual item in
inventory now. Her story of how that was removed intact from a house
was an adventure in itself.
The Old House Society is
headquartered in Bloomington at 214 E. Douglas. The phone number is
309-820-0548, and the website is
The Logan County Genealogical &
Historical Society, which hosted Walden's presentation in Lincoln,
meets monthly on the third Monday at 6:30 p.m. at their research
facility on Chicago Street. Volunteer members also provide research
for people from all over the United States who may have had
relatives in the Logan County area. The group is currently working
on a request for research from a person in Salt Lake City. The
nominal fee they charge for this research goes into maintaining
their research facility and a growing collection of Logan County
Banned-books display at Lincoln Public Library
The Lincoln Public Library
District's annual display on banned books is available for viewing during
regular business hours. The interactive display encourages users to read a
clue and guess the title of the banned book before revealing its title.
The display will be in the Annex
through Oct. 31.
information, visit the library at 725 Pekin St. or call 732-8878.
drive at Lincoln VFW Sept. 27
To help ensure an adequate
blood supply for the region, there will be a blood drive Friday, Sept. 27,
from noon to 3 p.m. at the Lincoln VFW Freedom Hall Event Center, 915 Fifth
For your convenience, call the blood
center toll-free to sign up at 1-866-GIVE-BLD (1-866-448-3253), or
schedule an appointment online using sponsor code 60505 at
www.bloodcenterimpact.org. Walk-ins are also welcome and truly
Central Illinois Community Blood
Center, a not-for-profit organization, is the provider of lifesaving
blood for 14 hospitals throughout central Illinois, including
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln and Memorial Medical
Center and St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. CICBC is a division
of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, which collects over
180,000 units of blood annually and serves 87 hospitals in Illinois,
Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.
invited to 3rd annual Life Banquet
Pregnancy Resource Center will present their third annual Life Banquet on
Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Lincoln Rec Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the
banquet is at 7.
Everyone is invited to join the
evening of celebration as the group shares the victory of hearts
touched and lives transformed through the Living Alternatives
Pregnancy Resource Center.
There is no cost to attend, but there will be an opportunity to make
a financial gift to this ministry.
For more information, call
Elkhart fall dinner lecture Oct. 13:
Experience South Africa and sample its cuisine from the comfort of
ELKHART -- The Elkhart
Historical Society is again presenting a dinner lecture series. The first
will be on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 4:30 p.m. at the Wild Hare Café, located in Horsefeathers at 104 Gov. Oglesby St. in Elkhart.
To kick off the series, Peter Niehaus,
who lived and worked in South Africa for over 40 years, will talk
about his experiences, the culture and beauty of the Cape Province,
where he lived.
dinner choices are a Cape Malay chicken dish and a Cape Malay beef
specialty, both served with the traditional condiments. Dessert will
be a classic trifle. Coffee and ice teas are included. Guests are
welcome to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy with their meal.
The ticket price for the evening is
$25, which includes the lecture, PowerPoint presentation and
complete meal, including sales tax and gratuity.
Registration forms can be obtained
www.elkharthistoricalsociety.org or phone Gillette Ransom at
217-947-2238 for a reservation. Space is limited, so interested
parties are encouraged to book quickly. The deadline for
registration is Sunday, Oct. 6.
American Water to flush lines
Illinois American Water will conduct
water main flushing in Lincoln beginning Monday, Sept. 23, as part
of regular maintenance. The routine work is being done as part of an
annual water main flushing program that improves customer water
service by flushing or cleaning mineral deposits and sediment from
the water mains. Flushing will be during daytime hours, between 7:30
a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and will continue through
The anticipated flushing schedule for
Illinois American Water's Lincoln District is:
Monday, Sept. 23 -- East of
railroad tracks to Pulaski Street.
Tuesday, Sept. 24 -- East of
railroad tracks from Pulaski Street to Keokuk Street..
Wednesday, Sept. 25 -- East of
railroad tracks from Keokuk Street to Lincolnwood, including all
Thursday, Sept. 26 -- Between
railroad tracks and Union from Decatur Street to Feldman Drive.
Friday, Sept. 27 -- Between
Broadwell Drive and Seventh Street.
Monday, Sept. 30 -- Between
Seventh Street and 16th Street.
Tuesday, Oct. 1 -- Between 16th
Street and Feldman Drive.
Wednesday, Oct. 2 -- West of
Lincoln Parkway from Fifth Street to Woodlawn.
Oct. 3 -- West of Lincoln Parkway on Woodlawn to Interstate 55.
[to top of second
The water main flushing will be
performed by Illinois American Water crews. They will be working out
of white utility trucks labeled with the company logo. All employees
will also have photo ID badges.
No interruptions in water service
will occur as a result of the work. Illinois American Water advises
that when crews are flushing nearby, customers may experience a
slight drop in water pressure or discoloration of their water.
Illinois American Water does not
foresee incidences of discoloration, but if this does occur, it is
recommended that customers let their cold water run to clear before
using it again, and refrain from doing laundry during that time. If
problems persist, notify Illinois American Water's customer service
center at 1-800-422-2782 (available 24 hours a day).
"The flushing program is designed
not only to maintain a high quality of water in the Lincoln
distribution system, but to inspect and operate fire hydrants to
assure they are in good working order as well," said David Schonauer,
operations superintendent for the Lincoln District.
United Methodist Women will host winter wear giveaway
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta United Methodist Women
will have a winter wear giveaway to help families in need as they get ready
for cold weather. A variety of gently worn or new coats, hats, scarves,
gloves and some boots will be available.
The event will be in the basement of the Atlanta United Methodist
Church from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 5.
The church is at
the corner of Second and Race streets and is handicapped-accessible.
The group says, "Come find the warmth our church has to share."
Guild to meet Tuesday
The next meeting of the Logan County
Herb Guild will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Faith Lutheran
Church, 2320 N. Kickapoo in Lincoln.
Members are asked to bring their
favorite salsa, store-bought or homemade from their favorite recipe,
to share for "Salsa Night." Bringing a bunch of herbs to swap with
others will be fun too.
marks beginning of a new year
Saturday, Sept. 14, marked a new year of programs for the Abraham
Lincoln Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.
The group met for lunch at the Stagecoach Grill in Middletown,
then proceeded to the Middletown Stagecoach Inn for their meeting.
They were greeted by Rick Deters and Ina Dambacher, who gave a tour
of the inn and shared some interesting history on Middletown and the
The meeting was led by the new regent, Jane DeWitt.
The October meeting will be at the McLean Library, with Susan
Kirby as the guest speaker, talking on the Underground Railroad.
Lunch will be catered by Subway.
All members who will be attending the District V meeting on
Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Jacksonville Country Club are reminded
that the reservation deadline will be Oct. 11. The cost is $20, and
there will be a breakfast bake sale before the meeting. For
reservations, call Linda Churchill, treasurer, at 735-3728 as soon
as possible or email her at
if it means kissing a pig... Culver's manager appreciates Logan County
Friday morning more than
200 Logan County farmers accepted an invitation to have a free breakfast at
Culver's, compliments of the restaurant.
Elaine Awe, owner and manager of the
restaurant, said that she and her staff wanted to do this as a means
of thanking all farmers for what they do. As she said, "Without
them, we wouldn't have food."
Awe said the restaurant mailed out
approximately 500 personal invitations to Logan County farmers,
using a mailing list she obtained from Jim Drew at the Logan County
The breakfast began at 6:30 a.m.
and ran through 9:30, with a regular stream of folks coming in
during that time. The breakfast was a "serve yourself," "all you
could eat" meal with eggs, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes and, of
course, plenty of coffee.
Awe said the breakfast was only a
part of the celebration going on right now. In addition, the
restaurant is featuring area farm families on their board behind the
service counter. Thus far they have had the David Opperman family
and the Randy Pech farm on the board, and they are hoping to have
enough to keep the board running and changing every week or two for
quite some time.
In honoring farmers and the farming
industry, the restaurant is also doing some fundraising for the
Lincoln High School Future Farmers of America. From now until
Wednesday, Sept. 25, restaurant patrons can drop their dollars or
change into the "Kiss a Pig" contestant jars, with the funds going
On the 25th, the person whose jar
has the most money collected will literally kiss a pig. With five
locally known people's jars to choose from, you're sure to find one
you want to support. There is one for each: Awe, Mayor Keith Snyder,
Lincoln/Logan Chamber director Andi Hake, LCHS FFA director Dr.
Penny Hasse-Wittler and the last one for local real estate agent
At 7 p.m. on Sept. 25, the pig will be
present, the winner will be announced, and the snout smooching will
Awe said it looks like right now
her employees are on an all-out campaign to get her to the kissing
booth, so she is hopeful there will be others in the community who
would like to see Snyder, Hake, Hasse-Wittler or Goodman pucker up.
Regardless, she said it would be all in good fun and serving a good
"We just want to say thanks to our
farming community with these special events," Awe said, "and we also
want to show our support and raise awareness for the FFA, and we
hope others will join us."
[By NILA SMITH]
slots filled for this year's Together for Lincoln, but you can still help
The sixth annual Together for Lincoln
community service day will be on Sunday, Sept. 22. Volunteers from
area churches will be completing 13 whole-house window replacements,
constructing four wheelchair ramps and working on approximately 25
other projects around the community. More financial investment into
the community will be made during this project year than ever
before.>Currently, all the volunteer slots for
this event have been filled. Together for Lincoln will not have a
day of sign-up in Latham Park.
People who are not signed up to help are encouraged to pray for
an opportunity to come before them and then to go meet that need.
Here are some ideas to help people get started:
Help someone in
your neighborhood or church who needs some yard cleanup.
Visit a homebound
person or nursing home resident of your choosing.
Clean up a
roadside of your choosing.
Contact one of the
local schools or teachers and see if there is something you can
do to help.
Ask your pastor if
there is someone in need of a visit or someone who needs a
Contribute to the
Together for Lincoln Food Drive. Visit Kroger, IGA and Wal-Mart
to give food or cash donations.
Jim Wessbecher, food
drive coordinator, said last year's food drive collected several
hundred pounds of food and $2,100 in donations. All food and
donations will be divided evenly among the Lincoln/Logan Food
Pantry, the Holy Family Food Pantry and the Community Action Food
The community is invited to a worship service on the evening of
Together for Lincoln. Lincoln Christian University will host the
service at 7 p.m. in the Hargrove Chapel. Dr. L.C. Sutton, who spoke
at the inaugural Together for Lincoln, will return. He is professor
of preaching and Christian ministries at Lincoln Christian
University and currently the preaching minister at Eminence
During the celebration service, a love offering will be taken for
the Oasis Senior Center. All of the offering will go to the ongoing
efforts to recover the center after the destructive fire earlier
Together for Lincoln encourages everyone in the community to take
this kind of service day and turn it into a way of life.