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
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.