By Helen Dedman, chair of James Harrod Trust, local preservation group
To adapt an old adage, “it takes a village to preserve a town.” Great preservation partnerships have been formed in the last few months. Hopefully many of you read of the partnership of several preservation groups from Central Kentucky to purchase Waveland in Boyle County. This wonderful house is reputed to be the last truly good example of Georgian architecture in the Bluegrass. Preservation Kentucky, our statewide non-profit preservation organization in Frankfort, Bluegrass Trust in Lexington, James Harrod Trust, and the Jess Correll family from Stanford agreed to donate funds making sure the house was purchased to be saved, not demolished. It was a “tense” auction with several bidders but in the end it seemed both bidders were preservationists. An agreement was made that the preservation groups would buy it, with Bluegrass Trust (BGT) holding the deed, and BGT would in turn attach a historic easement to deed, protecting the property, so that the other preservationist could buy and restore the property—a win, win!
Just as important is the partnership of Friends of the Fort and the James Harrod Trust. The wonderful Mansion Museum was in need of roof repairs. The Trust agreed to fund the repairs using a local roofer. Another partnership—this young businessman put copper flashing on with no extra charge because he loves the Fort and the work of the James Harrod Trust.
The partnership of the Trust and the Harrodsburg Historical Society organizing a Dry Stone Conservancy workshop sponsored by the Harrodsburg/Mercer County Tourist Commission was another success story. Volunteer stone masons worked on the rock wall around the Old Mud Meeting House cemetery one Saturday in May. Great strides were made that day. But that wonderful volunteer spirit didn’t stop that day—a local stone mason who attended the workshop continues to repair the wall in his free time because “he feels it is important.” Another volunteer from that workshop, who happens to be a roofer, asked if he could come back to put a tarp in the old schoolhouse at the site so that it would keep the rotting sun damage to a minimum. It was done last week. Don’t you love it?!
And the Trust could not do without another local volunteer who maintains Greenville Springs and McAfee Cemetery, properties owned by JHT. He does an amazing job says it is “his contribution to the preservation community.”
I haven’t named names because I wouldn’t want to “compromise” their positions but it is rewarding to be associated with such humble folks.
We all do our part to preserve and maintain our heritage and community but sometimes the “unsung heroes” need to be recognized—you know who you are. Thank you!