The National Historic Preservation Act turns 50 years old this year. The impact of that Act on our lives in Mineral Point is undeniable. We were the first City in Wisconsin to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and in 2007, the National Trust for Historic preservation recognized us as one its annual Dozen Distinctive Destinations. The work of preserving our architectural heritage stands us apart, and as such it is fitting that we celebrate this anniversary. On the weekend of May 14 & 15, we have planned a trio of events to do that.
50 Open Doors: On Saturday, a symbolic 50 buildings will be open for you to see many examples of historic preservation. You will have an opportunity to visit private homes, public buildings and businesses that provide an overview of the rich architectural history found here. Tickets for the 50 OPEN DOORS are $10. They go on sale at 9:30 on Saturday, May 14. You can purchase ticket at Orchard Lawn (an amazing restoration story) or at the corner of High & Commerce Streets in the building formerly known as Set in Stone, an excellent example of re-using an old structure for new uses.
Dinner & Conversations: On Saturday evening,join us for a pasty dinner at the Walker House with the playwrights, director and cast of the Chicago-area production of TEN DOLLAR HOUSE. Martha Meyer and Rick Kinnebrew were inspired to write this play after hearing the story of Bob Neal and Edgar Hellum. Seating is limited. Reserve your place ($25) now at the Chamber of Commerce or at Berget Jewelers in downtown Mineral Point. You will be treated to the story of how this play came to be written and hear readings from the cast. Be prepared for an entertaining and educational evening.
Ten Dollar House: Mineral Point Opera House, 2:00 pm. We are pleased to present an encore performance of the Evanston, IL production of Ten Dollar House. The actors, director and playwrights are excited to come and perform this story in the place that it originated, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to share this story that is so important to our history as a community. It’s the story of Edgar Hellum and Bob Neal, two men whose Depression-era preservation efforts created a legacy that we continue to reap the benefits from. This is a quote from Edgar Hellum: “…we were laughed at to start with. … But then as we proved, take an old building, first Pendarvis, then Polperro, and then Trelawney, and actually put them back and got the grounds and the gardens started, that began to stick in the people in town.” – from On The Shake Rag, 1990. You’re so right Edgar! It stuck – and we owe a debt of gratitude to these two men who were visionaries long before the Act that we celebrate was passed.
Tickets for Ten Dollar House are at Bergets, the Chamber of Commerce or online at brownpapertickets