Historic Preservation Month celebration continues locally

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Professor Gregory Pierceall explains concepts of historic landscaping at the recent seminar sponsored by the Heritage Preservation Society at the Putnam County Museum.

As part of the ongoing observation of National Preservation Month, the Heritage Preservation Society of Putnam County is sponsoring an upcoming event that is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, May 31 at 10:30 a.m., conservancy expert John Warner of Indianapolis will speak at the Putnam County Museum.

The preservation consultant's topic will be his work on the current nomination of Forest Hill Cemetery to the National Register of Historic Places. The presentation will center on Warner's findings about the cemetery and its historic significance.

Along with Victorian crypts and an Art Deco abbey, Forest Hill is home to the towering Civil War Monument, which lists the names of all the soldiers from Putnam County who lost their lives to the cause.

If the nomination is successful, grant funding may be more accessible to help in restoration of the timeworn soldier's memorial.

Warner was instrumental in the recent placement of three local neighborhoods onto the prestigious National Register: Northwood, Old Greencastle and the Eastern Enlargement. If all proceeds smoothly with the latest nomination at the state and federal level, the city will have an additional credential as a preservation-minded community.

Previous events hosted earlier this month by the HPS included an hstoric landscaping seminar at the museum. Gregory Pierceall, professor emeritus of Purdue University's landscape architecture department, demonstrated before an attentive audience how period plantings and planning can transform a property into a haven with multiple retreats.

Pierceall is slated to return in the fall, to detail his vision for plant design highlighting the site of the Civil War Monument.

Also, local genealogist Diana Brumfield showcased her talent for sleuthing and building connections at her how-to symposium May 14 at the Putnam County Public Library. A capacity crowd learned the various methods she used to research the family that built the John Ireland House.

The Ireland House, an ornate example of Italianate architecture constructed in 1887, was recently the object of a painstaking restoration by DePauw University. DePauw has allowed HPS use of the property for a fundraising house tour that will benefit the restoration effort for the Civil War Monument.

The public open house will be Saturday, June 14 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tickets will be $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 years and under. That afternoon will also see a free public presentation at Forest Hill Cemetery, where noted authority Ken Anderson will elaborate on the significance of the soldier's memorial.

In conjunction with the Ireland House tour, Anderson Street will be closed between Bloomington and Locust streets to allow for an antique car show to line up on the block from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration for the car show will be at 9-11 a.m. and cost $10. Prizes will be awarded.

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