Friday, February 26, 2016

2013-2016 Huge update

I apologize for not updating this site for a very long time.  It's basically because I'm not very computer savvy.  My youngest, helped me to get back on the site.  So here goes....

2013 - Work progressed on the CCC/POW Building and money was raised for the next phase.  If memory serves me right, the refurbishment of the 22 windows was completed.  Storm windows were made for the the windows.  The rotating displays were of the civil war.  We were open only for special occasions.

2014 - World War I was the theme in the south section of the building.  More Civilian Conservation Corps items were collected.  Information for the Prisoners of War during World War II was obtained. Youth to Restore the CCC/POW Building board attended the symposium held at the Calkins Nature Center in Iowa Falls the later part of July.  While there networking began with other conservation agencies in the county.  A new opportunity arose from that meeting with the Barlow Family Foundation of Iowa Falls.

In October, the CCC/POW Project was selected by the Barlow Family Foundation as one of five organizations to participate in the Community Challenge.  For two weeks during October individuals could donate from $25-$100 to their organization.  At the end of the two week period YRCPB had raised $8,757.  Barlow matched that amount giving YRCPB $17,515.  What a blessing that has/is to YRCPB.

Professional electrical upgrades and new electrical panel was completed.  Weatherization of flashing was completed by the construction class of South Hardin High School.  

2015 - YRCPB applied for many grants using the $17,515 as seed money.  July 1st - the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, State Historic Preservation Office, Historic Resource Development Program awarded YRCPB a grant for $24,556 grant to finish the renovations.  Iowa Network Services (Heart of Iowa) blessed us with money as did Lennox of Marshalltown.  Many fundraisers and the community continued their fine support both financially and with items for the building.
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning were purchased and installed in the fall.

2015 - Displays included new items from the Davison, Wright, and Lepley families.  All of these displays were of men from the Union and Eldora area.  The main theme in the south section was World War II - Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  New CCC photos were located from the Smithsonian and five years of CCC newsletters were obtained through Iowa State University Library and the Chicago Research Library.

2015 - Open - Every Saturday - Memorial Day-Labor Day 9:00-3:00.  Special occasions and tours.

2015 - An application to Silos and Smokestacks as an emerging tour site.  

2015 - Hired our contractor for renovations.

Summary - 2015 was a phenomenal year with the support of the YRCPB Board and the community in our fundraising efforts.  It was encouraging to have visitors came to the building throughout the summer months.  In July, RAGBRAI visited Eldora.  We are amazed at the amount of out-of-state visitors to the Eldora area.  Campers from Pine Lake State Park, Class Reunions of the 50+ group, participants of the State Hereford Show, and the Llama show also came to the building.  The YRCPB has made much progress.   Huge steps taken - many surprises for 2016.

Monday, December 9, 2013

YRCPB Board Meeting to be held Tuesday, December 10th at 7 p.m. at the Eldora Public Library.
Thrivent Choice is a charitable grant program that allows eligible members to recommend where Thrivent Financial distributes part of its charitable outreach grant funds each year.

Thrivent Choice has accepted the Hardin County Agricultural Society as a participating organization in Thrivent Choice Dollars.  If you are a member of Thrivent Financial, please consider selecting our organization Hardin County Agricultural Society to receive Choice Dollars to continue the renovations of the CCC/POW Recreational Hall.  It is our goal to continue reaching out and educating people about the important work of the Civilian Conservation Corps and Prisoners of War did in Eldora, Iowa in 1933-1946.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED for Youth to Restore the Civilian Conservation Corps/Prisoner of War Recreational Hall.  If you have time, we are in need of more board members to help guide and direct the renovations of the building as well as preparing the building each year with new displays for events.  We also have facebook: Civilian Conservation Corps/POW Rec Hall.

Board meetings are usually held the second Tuesday of each month, however the location varies.

Monday, July 29, 2013

2013 News - Youth to Restore the CCC/POW Building has made some great strides this year.  Last fall, 2012, a board was formed that gave great guidance and support to the project.  We began the major task of weatherizing the building and making decisions about adding storm windows.  With the building being so old, it's a constant challenge to meet the historic requirements and make it usable for the public.

We started 2013 off by holding pancake breakfasts for the Eldora Horseshoe Club tournaments the first two Saturdays of each month, January-April at the Hardin County Fairgrounds.  We fellowshipped with several people from across the state and were able to tell them about Iowa's Hidden Treasure, the CCC/POW Recreational Hall.

At the Family Fest held May 4th we reached out to the community by having two re-enactors from the Civil War era come and share with children and families.  Six children won coloring books.  The children had fun having their pictures taken as General Lee, General Sherman, a Confederate soldier, a Federal sharpshooter, President Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln, a drummer boy, or Dr. Mary Edwards in a cut-out board besides having the opportunity to dress up as a civil war soldier.    

It is fitting that we be open Memorial weekend to honor those that have given their lives for the freedom and liberties we have today.  This is our second year being open on Memorial Weekend and will make this an annual event.

The summer is filled with fundraisers for the next renovation steps.

The Hardin County Fair was held July 10-14, 2013  This was our fourth year of being open and each year new displays are created.  To honor the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, displays in the south section were setup to educate visitors about the importance of the Civil War, the impact and innovations developed for our use today. Iowa sent 75%  proportionately to serve in the Civil War.  Hardin County lost 76 of their residents.  Learning about Iowa's Governors and Lt. Governors during the Civil War was extremely interesting.  I would challenge each of you to learn about Governors, Kirkwood and Stone.  Iowa had a part in the Underground Railroad, it is believed that there were people and possibly a home in New Providence that was used in the Underground Railroad.

Did you know that Pine Lake State Park was the first man made lake in Iowa?  Plans for the second lake brought in the Civilian Conservation Corps to Eldora, Iowa.  Each year we add more information to our story of the Civilian Conservation Corps.  After Pearl Harbor, the CCC camps closed, however that was not the end of them.  Manufacturing companies that needed labor contracted with the government to have Prisoners of War come.  Eldora had Italian prisoners come in the fall of 1943 to help harvest hemp.  The largest hemp producer was Fred Coulter of Conrad, Iowa.  Iowa had eleven hemp mills, two of them were close to Eldora, Grundy Center and Iowa Falls.  In early 1944 the Italians left and preparations were made for German Prisoners of War who would come in August, 1944 to work on farms and manufacturing companies in Ackley, Reinbeck, Marshalltown, and several other communities.  

Pine Lake Festival held Friday, July 26-28.  The museum was open to the general public.  We had visitors from Tuscan, Arizona and Fairbanks, Alaska.

Tour Groups are invited.  A group will be coming in on August 7, 2013.  If you have a desire to learn more about us.  Please contact us.

If you'd like to be a part of restoring the CCC/POW Recreational Hall we are looking for volunteers and anyone interested in being a part of the board.

The board will continue doing fundraisers at the local grocery stores and Pizza Ranches in the area.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Youth to Restore the Civilian Conservation Corps/Prisoner of War (CCC/POW) Recreational Hall is a non-profit organization under the auspices of Hardin County Agricultural Society, a corporation.  The property on which both are located is owned by Hardin County and under the direction of the Hardin County Board of Supervisors.

Contributions to the renovation of the CCC/POW Recreational Hall may be made to:

Hardin County Agricultural Society - CCC/POW Building
Attention:  Treasurer
P.O. Box 247
Eldora, IA  50627

All contributions are tax deductible.  Thank you for your support.


On Tuesday, June 20th I will be speaking to the Eldora Kiwanis at 11:45 a.m. at the Hardin County Savings Bank.