Clay County historic preservation lauded

Clay County historic preservation lauded Four examples of historic preservation in Clay County have received recognition from the Clay County Commission.

The Clay County Commission Historic Preservation Awards celebrate local achievements in preserving historic resources by residential and commercial property owners who protect important landmarks and are sensitive to the historic character of the community.

The Clay County Historic Preservation Commission solicited nominations from the community last April. To be eligible for an award, work on the structure must be high quality, appropriate in style, accurate to the date of construction and sensitive to the environment.

Eligible work includes preservation, restoration, sensitive additions to older properties and adaptive re-use of older structures.

Clay County Commission Chairman Jerry Sommervold presented awards to the following winners June 12:

* Boline Barn, Garfield Township

Owners: Milton and Margaret Boline

The Boline Barn was built around the latter 1910s by Elbert and Emma Anderson. It is a Wisconsin dairy style barn with a cupola and hayhood. The present owners repaired the framing around the windows and doors and painted the barn red with white trim. The Bolines have insured the preservation of an important element of Clay County's rural heritage.

* Laughlin House, Vermillion

Owners: Jim and Michelle Laughlin

This Neoclassical Revival home features a Victorian wrap-around porch and a two-story turret. The Laughlins have worked to replace windows and repair sagging ceilings, cracked plaster and woodwork and the exquisite front porch which wraps around the house. They are currently reconstructing an old carriage house behind their home. Their efforts preserve one of Vermillion's most beautiful original homes for future generations.

* Burbank School, Burbank

Recipient: Burbank School Historical Society

The Burbank School No. 10 was built on its current site in 1910. It was consolidated in 1972 with the Vermillion School District and has not been used by the district for several decades. The school had fallen into disrepair until it was adopted by a group of citizens interested in its preservation and use.

Approximately 13 residents are now working to preserve the building. New windows, a rebuilt front door arch and a new furnace have all been completed to date. The structure is now a meeting place for the township and can be utilized for private functions as well. Its preservation serves as an example of timely re-use of an important historical structure nearly lost to age and disrepair.

* Banasiak-Strandell Garage, Vermillion

Owners: John Banasiak and Carol Strandell

When the owners of an historic home on Willow Street decided to tear down and replace a garage, it was feared this example of early 20th century architecture would be lost.

Carol Strandell, with the aid of Terry Hill, a local carpenter and craftsman, came to the rescue of the garage and engineered its move to the Banasiak-Strandell residence on Forest Avenue. This well-built structure, with architectural details including arbor and weather vane, was preserved due to timely intervention and know-how.

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