ANNA — It took seven years, but the Anna District Historical Society finally has a home they hope to have ready by Christmas 2017.
“The house was built in 1912 by a local doctor, Dr. Johnson,” Susie Bertsch, historical society treasurer, said.
This past summer a local resident, Linda Glessner, purchased the home at 112 W. Main St. at a Sheriff’s Sale and donated it to the society.
She used money left to her by an aunt who had passed, so they decided to use her name in the name of the home. It will be called the Packer Historical Center.
The house is in need of repairs, and handicap access.
“Right now the bad part is the front porch. There was a huge hole in it, and so we have to get that completely fixed,” Bertsch said. “We’re working on electric, plumbing, and we need a new furnace. We’re remodeling the bathroom, and kitchen.”
The house has all it’s original wood work, including a large pocket door, and several other decorative doors and windows throughout the house. “At one point it was a showplace in Anna,” Bertsch said.
She said the 3,000 square foot house is structurally in good shape.
Right now the repairs are estimated at around $150,000. To help pay for the repairs they have set up a GoFundMe Account, https://goo.gl/uZfvhL.
They are doing some of the work themselves to save money on hiring people, and a committee was formed in the society to work on some fund raising.
Right now the historical society is selling their annual Christmas Ornament. They can be purchased at town hall, the bank, the library, and from any historical society member.
They have plenty of things to fill the center with once the renovations are complete.
“And we’re always accepting stuff, but we don’t quite have a place to put it all until the house is finished,” Bertsch said.
Right now all the memorabilia and historical artifacts, and pieces the society owns are being stored in various places around town: basements, storage units, and even town hall.
“It would be nice if people who lived here over the years had photos they wanted to donate to us,” said Richard Eshleman, historical society member said. “Like the fireplace, we have no idea what it originally looked like.”
Besides historical exhibits, the society would like to host a slew of other activities and events in the home.
“We would love to do educational programs, host speakers, maybe have some activities for students to come over and take part in, and eventually maybe genealogy,” Bertsch said.
Right now they are planning a cemetery tour for the spring.
The historical district includes Kettlersville and McCartyville as well, so anyone with historical knowledge or passions are welcome to join the society.
The historical society meets every third Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Anna Village Hall. New members are always welcome, and once they get some heat in the house they will be asking for volunteers to come help put the center together.
“We want to get up and get things going because there’s a lot of Anna history that we have that people don’t even know about, and we think it’s important they know the significance of Anna’s history,” Bertsch said.
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