Unveiling of Fire Station Historical Marker set for Feb. 15

OSKALOOSA – The unveiling ceremony for the Oskaloosa Fire Station Historical Marker is set for Thursday, Feb. 15 at Noon. The ceremony will be located at the Fire Station’s south new entrance lobby.

The ceremony is also the kickoff of the volunteer, community-based Historical Building Marker project. According to committee member Ann Brower, the Historical Marker Building project was approved by the Historical Preservation Commission in September 2017.

“We initially targeted eight downtown buildings for markers, in addition to the Fire Station,” Brower said. “We wanted to educate our community and visitors regarding the history of these buildings, as well as preserve the information for future generations.

“Each historical marker will include the year the building was built, pictures of the building through the years and a few interesting and fun facts to appeal to the community and visitors. The marker will also indicate the prominent type of architecture of the building as well as a link to a webpage hosted by the Oskaloosa Area Chamber and Development Group so that those interested can get ‘the rest of the story’ regarding the building.”

Brower went on to explain that the webpage for each building will be a place where more in-depth building history can be viewed. “The webpage is a work in progress and will be updated as information is obtained.”

To complete such a major undertaking, local historians were asked to “adopt” a building and do research as part of the project. Researchers and their buildings include:
• Calvin Bandstra, research team leader, who is working on the Frankel Building, which is now Smokey Row, and the Oskaloosa Savings Bank, which is now the Book Vault.
• Mark Tennison, who researched the Fire Station history.
• Todd Roach and Lyle Siefering, who are researching the Iowa Masons Benevolent Society building, which is now Hawkeye Real Estate and Mahaska Title.
• Bill Akason and Cheryl Lockwood, who are researching the Malcolm Building, which is now Pizza Ranch and the Trolley Place.
• Emily Russell and Ann Fender, who are researching the Centennial Block Building, which is now Town Square Dental.
• Julie Hanson, who is researching the Iowa Building.
• Dave Dixon, who has researched the Mahaska County Courthouse. (Next up for an unveiling at the Courthouse!)
• Cal and Marilyn Van Arkel, who are researching the Stapp building.

The historical markers themselves are on a bond board insert with a brass bandstand backdrop, which was designed by Tessa Van Veldhuizen. Committee members worked with John Grahek from Clow Valve, which is donating the brass for all of the markers. The mold to make the markers was developed by Tom Stone from Musco Lighting and donated to the committee.

“Even Colt Mefford, who is installing the historical markers, is donating his services,” Brouwer explained. “Lyle Siefering of Mahaska Title is providing the ‘chain of ownership’ on each building for the website. Corporate and individual sponsors have come forward to cover additional costs.”

Brouwer stressed that the Historical Marker Project has received incredible support throughout the community. “It has been such a blessing and truly highlights all the wonderful things we can accomplish as a community when we work together toward the greater good.

“It is our desire that this will be the start of many more historical markers being placed on our community’s historic buildings.”

If you would like more information or you have information to share about our historical buildings, contact Brower at 641-660-8075 or committee member Sherry Vavra at 641-660-



Posted by on Feb 8 2018. Filed under Events, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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