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Community House A Mt. Carroll Landmark

Historically, the Community House on Main Street is one of Mt. Carroll's oldest building s, having been erected in 1860. The cornerstone was laid July 5 and the building was dedicated in November of that year. The First Lutheran Church congregation organized in 1858 and this was its first building. The original cost of the building was $2,000. It was sold 16 years later for $1,500 to the Dunkard or German Baptists and has had a succession of tenants through the years.
In 1967 the Community House Board saw an intense need to reach a decision on the fate of the deteriorating Community House. An architect was called in and appraised the building as structurally sound and very representative of the rural architecture of the area. He recommended that the board consider renovation and preservation of the landmark.
The board proceeded with plans to refurbish the building. Tom Peat was chairman of the Renovation Committee which included Bert Huber, Tom Veith, and Mrs. C. R. Colehour. The Lions Club donated $1,000 toward the project and the Jaycees scraped and painted the exterior. Other groups and individuals made contributions and by January of 1968 the carpenter work was completed. A new furnace was installed, two new rest rooms were completed and tile floors were laid in the kitchen, foyer , and rest rooms.
By the March 3, 1968 Ope House date, carpeting was laid in the main hall, a large cabinet was added to the west wall, a cement stoop and wrought iron railings were added to the entrance and the draperies were re-conditioned. The final touch was the addition of a large mural on the east wall depicting rural America. The total cost of the extensive remodeling project was $5,300 borne largely by generous contributors.
The Mt. Carroll Community House today is used by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, organizations, and as a meeting place for reception and family reunions. The cost of operating the building is borne by an annual allocation from the Community fund Drive and from small rental fees charged to groups other than the scouts who have free use of the facilities. Very little is left over for maintenance of the historically significant structure.
A resolution has been adopted by the Mt. Carroll Community House Board Executive Committee whereby, upon formation of the Carroll Community Park District, the Community House will be given to the Park District. Continuing needs of the building could be met. The work of the 1967 program of renovating the Community House would be left to deteriorate once again.
This is but one of the areas of need in the community that forming a Park District would help to correct. More areas of community need will be featured in issues to come.