Preserving the Historic Squirrel Cage Jail records in Council Bluffs. Saving the 1885 "Guardian Angel" painting in Des Moines. Racing against time to restore the Jasper County Courthouse clock.
These are just three of the projects that will receive Historical Resource Development Grants and Country School Grants in fiscal year 2018 from the State Historical Society of Iowa. Overall, the State Historical Society of Iowa awarded $535,726 to museums, historical organizations and others for 27 projects in 25 communities across 21 Iowa counties today.
Historical Resource Development Program grants help individuals and organizations preserve, conserve, interpret and educate the public about documentary collections, historic preservation and museums. Since 1990, the program has awarded more than $16 million to 1,200 historical projects across the state to conserve museum collections, microfilm newspapers, preserve photographs, install exhibits, survey historic neighborhoods, nominate buildings and districts to the National Register of Historic Places, and more.
In Newton, the Newton Historic Preservation Commission will use a $44,500 grant to preserve the Jasper County Courthouse clockwork by restoring the Seth Thomas-designed tower clock and returning its bell to working order. The funding also will be used to upgrade electrical equipment, fix broken glass, complete exterior painting and weatherproof the structure to prevent damage. The Newton Historic Preservation Commission hopes the project will inspire Jasper County officials and residents to focus on historic preservation.
The Historical Resource Development Program and Country School Grant Program are funded by the Resource Enhancement and Protection Act, established by the Iowa General Assembly in 1989. Local governments, nonprofit corporations, individuals, businesses and American Indian tribes are eligible to submit applications. Projects funded in this grant cycle must be completed by Nov. 30, 2019.
The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. More information is available at www.iowaculture.gov or 515-281-5111.