Preservation group is honored

Preservation group is honored The Clay County Historic Preservation Commission received an organizational Governor's Award for History from the South Dakota State Historical Society at the society's annual meeting April 13 in Pierre. "The organization award is given to outstanding organizations whose efforts in the sharing and preservation of South Dakota history are exemplary," said Mary B. Edelen, director of the State Historical Society.

Since its inception as a certified local government in 1985, the CCHPC has been making significant contributions to historic preservation in the urban and rural communities of Clay County. Over the years, the CCHPC has benefited the country by serving as a valuable resource to inform and educate the public on a number of historic preservation-related subjects. Among the education materials the commission has developed are a Guide to National Register Historic Sites in Clay County and a Guide to Historic Sites in Clay County.

Among its many accomplishments in recent years, under the guidance of Betty Smith and Kevin Jacobson, five projects or actions are considered significant to the advancement of historic preservation in Clay County. These are:

The completion of architectural surveys of downtown Vermillion structures during the summer and fall of 2000;

Based on those survey results, a Downtown Vermillion Historic District was mapped out for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places;

Adopting historic preservation ordinances for both Clay County and the City of Vermillion;

Initiating an annual historic preservation awards program to increase public awareness of the importance of individual efforts to preserve the county's architectural heritage; and

Hiring a consultant to develop a comprehensive historic preservation plan for the county.

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