Wythougan Valley Preservation Council held its annual meeting on October 28 in the barn of the historic Robert Schroeder Farm in North Township. The farm, established in 1865, was recently placed on the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and is undergoing restoration. Election of officers included Kurt Garner, President; Scott Schuster, Vice-President and Portia Wampler, Secretary. Newly elected board members include Jeff Kenney, Union Township, Mike Yazel and Andrew Burkhart, Tippecanoe Township, Portia Wampler, Bourbon Township and Mark Gidley, Center Township. The annual budget was adopted and a draft of the county’s 10-most endangered list was presented.
For the 14th year, the Daniel McDonald Heritage Awards for Preservation were presented at the meeting. Daniel McDonald is recognized as the most influential historian of Marshall County. McDonald authored several books on the history of the county, the Menominee band of American Indians, and Free Masonry in Indiana. McDonald was a state representative and the main proponent in the creation of the Chief Menominee memorial. The McDonald presentations are made annually to individuals, organizations, and communities who have made extraordinary contributions in the practice of historic preservation in Marshall County.
There were five recipients of the award this year. Plymouth Bible Baptist Church and the Richard and Jerilyn Anders Home in Bourbon were presented awards for the extensive restoration work completed on their respective buildings. The youth belonging to the Community Destination Imagination Team centered out of Bourbon received an award for the cemetery restoration work being completed through their “Zombie Project”. The Plymouth Church of the Brethren received an award in recognition of their 100th year as a congregation in 2016. Finally, Karin Rettinger, long-time and outgoing secretary-treasurer for the organization, received an award for her 15 years of service to the organization.
Also recognized were the five Marshall County Indiana Bicentennial Barn award recipients. The Indiana Barn Foundation and Bicentennial Barn Committee selected 200 Indiana barns to serve as “Bicentennial Barns” in the state. Marshall County is represented by five and they are owned by Robin Roberts – Center Township, Don & Christine Kitch – Bourbon Township, Naomi Wagley Enamorado – German Township, Marc & Judi Weissert – German Township, and Kurt & Christine Garner – North Township, the site of the annual meeting. Todd Zeiger, Director of Indiana Landmarks Northern Regional Office and RT Henke, Marshall County Coordinator for the Indiana Barn Foundation, spoke briefly about the importance of preserving these symbols of agricultural heritage.
Wythougan Valley Preservation Council was established in 1999. The membership-based organization has completed several National Register nominations and rescued and restored the Garn House in Plymouth, Summit School in Tippecanoe Township, and Jacoby Church near Plymouth. The board of directors is composed of representatives from each of the county’s townships. The group has a long partnership with the Marshall County Community Foundation, through which an endowment was established in 2010. The fund is open to receive charitable gifts to assist in preservation work in Marshall County. For more information about Wythougan contact Kurt Garner at 574-936-0613. Updates on Wythougan Valley can also be found on Facebook.B