Tower View Team Visits Artist’s Studio

The Tower View Team from Jefferson Matters: Main Street took a field trip on Monday, Sept. 17 to Ogden to see artist David Williamson’s studio.  Rancho Weirdo is the name of David’s workspace out on his acreage.  They sa where the arches will be created for Arch Alley. David showed them all the tools, pulley systems and all that will be used to create the three 16’ tall sculptural arches. Members of the group made some decisions regarding the alley project.  Moving forward, David will be working with the students in both Greene County Community Schools and Paton-Churdan Schools to design one of the arches.  Another arch will be designed by community members who want to be involved.  The Tower View Team began the process last winter and spring designing the first arch.  Arch Alley is projected to be completed in the fall of 2019.

Fall Pillar Planters Are Fabulous

A group of volunteers we fondly refer to as Flower Power planted the 12 pillar planters in the downtown.  This effort is led by Karen Lawton and Kathy Milligan of the Design Committee.  They work with Bonnie Silbaugh who owns Fudge’s Flowers in downtown Jefferson.  All plants and materials are purchased in downtown Jefferson.  Many compliments come from residents and visitors on these beautiful planters.  The Jefferson Streets Dept. continue to water the hanging baskets and the pillar planters.  Volunteers also water over the weekend.  Many thanks to all!

The call goes out to the volunteers and they show up to plant these for each season.  If anyone would like to be involved in this task force, please let Peg know at the Main Street Office.

Students enjoy HomeTown Teams exhibit

Students from grades 2-12 in Greene County Community Schools and grades 4-12 from Paton-Churdan enjoyed the HomeTown Teams exhibit.  Retired school staff Jean Van Gilder, Pat Richards, Roger Aegerter, Jan Durlam,  Dianne Piepel, Peg Raney, and Julie Karber served as volunteer hosts for these visits.  An awesome scavenger hunt was created by these teachers to keep the students engaged with the exhibit.  They hunted for answers in the Smithsonian exhibit and the local exhibits.  Many students returned with their parents and grandparents to take a closer look.  As the exhibit approaches the end of its run on Sept. 23, well over 2,000 people have come to the Greene County Historical Society to experience it.

U of I Women’s Archive brings 6 on 6 basketball to Jefferson

Small towns across the state came to a halt each winter to take in the mesmerizing game of girls’ six-on-six basketball.

It was a sport that captivated thousands and sent scores sky-rocketing over the century mark, creating legends in the smallest of communities.

The University of Iowa Women’s Archives is celebrating the impact of six-on-six basketball in Iowa with a presentation at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 in conjunction with the local Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit.

Iowa Women’s Archive curator Karen Mason and U of I American Studies lecturer Jennifer Sterling, who have spent hundreds of hours researching and interviewing former players, will discuss the marvelous history of the sport and its wide-ranging reach across the entire country through “Six-on-six Girls’ Basketball in Iowa: Stories from the Iowa Women’s Archives and Beyond.”

The University of Iowa “Remembering six-on-six” exhibit is currently on display inside the Greene County Historical Museum which is free and open to the public through Sept. 23.

The duo begin speaking at 1 p.m. in the Thomas Jefferson Gardens Welcome Center which will be followed by a chance for locals to share their stories and memorabilia with the researchers.

The exhibit has also visited Mount Vernon, Ottumwa and Guthrie Center. It will travel to Ames and Conrad following its pit stop in Jefferson.

The operating hours of the Hometown Teams exhibit at the Greene County Historical Museum are:

Saturdays – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sundays – Noon to 6 p.m.

Wednesdays – 1-6 p.m.

Thursdays – 3-9 p.m.

Preservation Iowa At Its Best Award to Kendall Bldg.

Preservation at its Best 2018, Small Commercial: Kendall Building (Jefferson)

The Kendall Building at 111 E Lincoln Way was built in 1916 after the preceding framed building burned. The current structure is a two-story Prairie/Craftsman style with 1,122 sq ft.  in the original build. Kendall’s Pool Room featured a front smoking room and seven billiard tables which open until 1955.  It is in the Jefferson Square Historic District and sits on the corner of a mid-block alley that has also been renovated.   

Kendall Building interior rehabilitation, 2018 Preservation at Its Best award

In 2015, the Kendall Building was run-down and abandoned.  The City of Jefferson purchased the building for $50 and made a commitment of $150,000 to renovate the building.  Rosie & Ray Tucker moved back to Jefferson and were interested in opening their business from Arkansas, Sensibly Chic, in the Kendall building .  Rosie is the granddaughter of the original Kendall family.  A Challenge Grant was awarded in 2016 for the total restoration with retail in the first level and the Tucker’s apartment in the 2nd story.  This took collaboration of the Tuckers, City, and Jefferson Matters: Main Street with assistance from the school’s athletic dept. for debris removal from the basement.    

From demolition and stripping down of the entire building, asbestos removal, a new roof and stabilization of the basement by the City to refinishing the original billiard hall floors, brick-pointing, restoring the original metal ceiling, building new stairs to the 2nd floor.  The new storefront windows showcased home décor and upper story windows were inserted into the plywood openings. Local contractors were used throughout the project.    

Restoration began in the fall of 2016 and Sensibly Chic opened in Sept. of 2017.  The Tuckers moved into their apartment within another month.  

The impact has been huge.  Sensibly Chic opened in the middle of the CDBG façade rehabilitation project with 13 other buildings.  The residents and visitors were so impressed with how this building was rehabilitated that they watched intensely to see how the other facades were uncovered and rebuilt so a steady stream of cars followed the rehabilitation with interest.  

The success has been undeniable and the City of Jefferson is working to buy and stabilize more buildings with hopes of attracting more businesses to downtown Jefferson.