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.