The regular meeting of the Oneota Future Historic Alliance (OHFA) is 6 p.m. Monday, May 19, for supper and 6:30 p.m. for a business meeting at the Peace & Justice Center, 119 Winnebago St., Decorah.
The group is currently concerned with the reuse of the reclaimed materials of the historic East Side School.
The group is looking for individuals interested in helping grow the organization, as they will be paying the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors the $9,600 owed for the removal of the Winneshiek County caretaker’s house, according to Deborah Bishop, secretary/co-treasurer. OHFA attempted to find a use for the caretaker’s house or have it placed on the National Register of Historic Places, but when it was unsuccessful, the county paid to remove the building. As part of its agreement with the county, OHFA is required to pay for the building’s demolition.
Reclaimed materials from the removal of East Side School include hard fired exterior bricks, Decorah kilned soft interior bricks, Kasota stone, native Platteville limestone and dimensional lumber. The materials were reclaimed from the East Side School site across from the Decorah central administration building at the corner of Winnebago and Vernon Streets, which is now a playground.
Materials of East Side have been bought by many people for restoration and building projects in private homes. Many materials have been reused in public places since 2008. The basement of the Amdahl Odland Center is the first place the dimensional lumber was reused. Bricks were first reused in restoration of a wall of the ArtHaus business portion of the Cary’s Machine and Welding building in downtown Decorah.
The Water Street Gazebo next to the Oneota Food Coop built by Downtown Decorah Betterment Association was the first major East Side materials reuse project. Virginia and John Strauss used a substantial amount of the material in a private home improvement project. Linda Elkins and son Jason also utilized a substantial amount of reclaimed masonry material at their home on Maple Avenue.
Anyone interested in obtaining material for restorations or building projects, should write to Oneota Historic Future Alliance at P.O. Box 375, Decorah, IA 52101, call Bishop at 563-387-6905 or 563-379-6037 or e-mail