Visitors to the Benton County Historical Society’s booth at the Benton County Fair were among the first to learn about the fund-raising project for the roof of the historic Depot.
Depot fund-raiser: BCHS seeks $25,000 for roof repair before winter
A few years ago, part of the roof was replaced, with the help of grants, donations and AmeriCorps volunteers.
Now, the BCHS is hoping to raise $25,000 to replace the north part of the roof, something members say the building needs urgently, now.
BCHS member Phil Borlesky is one of the depot’s most involved activists. A railroad enthusiasts, he participates in many events and educational presentations about the history of the railroad.
Borlesky recently wrote a letter to area residents and businesses, seeking donations. Part of that letter appears below:
Our Vinton railroad depot is a true treasure! We want to keep it that way!
The brick-and-stone depot was well-built in 1900. Rock Island Railroad, when it vacated the building in the mid-1970s, didn’t leave it in shambles. Nor did the flower shop temporarily housed in the depot after its own downtown place burned in 1974. Keith Elwick’s Hawk-Bilt, local farm implement manufacturing firm, gave the former railroad station plenty of TLC while owning and using the building until selling it to the Benton County Historical Society in 1981.
Today, hundreds visit and enjoy the depot each year–during summer Thursday Farmers’ Markets, as part of bus or educational tours, every-other-year railfan track car outings (another one this August 19) and more. Inside and out, Vinton’s railroad is a treasure!
To remain a treasure, the Vinton depot needs your help. The north side roof must be reshingled–before winter! And the water-damaged north side overhang wood needs replacing and painting.
We’ve got a contractor lined up; McDowell’s has new heavy-duty shingles on the way. Now we need to pay for the project!
We’re asking you to help. You’ve been generous before. Because you care about the Vinton depot and its preservation for future generations.
Total tab for this depot roof project is $25,000–a small price to pay help preserve such a treasure.
Mail your generous (tax-deductible) gift to the Benton County Historical Society, P. O. Box 22, Vinton, IA 52349 today to renew the Vinton depot roof. Let’s get the job done now!