September 14, 2010

National Register of Historic Places : Did you know...

...that through the efforts of several local groups and individuals, the community of Red Oak, IA has 9 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Vintage Red Oak recently had an opportunity to photograph one of the more recognizable National Register Properties in Red Oak; The Montgomery County Courthouse.  Thanks to a great facilities manager, we got to see some areas not normally seen by the general public.  Below is a slide show of this great building, including areas not normally seen such as the bell tower, and roof structure.

Montgomery County Courthouse Facts:
  • November 1, 1889, Approved by the supervisors.
  • Cost not to exceed $75,000.00
  • Architect was H.C. Koch and Co.
  • Contractor was Richards and Co.
  • Winning bid was $69,200.00
  • July 4, 1890, the cornerstone was laid.
  • July 1891, the contractor experienced financial problems and quit working.
  • August 1891, Jesse Tate was secured as the superintendent of construction at a salary of $5.00 per day.  He arranged with sub contractors to finish the building.
  • March 2, 1892, the building was completed and dedicated.
  • March 1917, the building was wired for electricity.
  • 1976, the original slate roof was replaced, building was tuckpointed, and storm windows were added.
  • July 1981, the courthouse was entered in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • November 1984, the elevator was installed.
  • The most memorable trial ever held in the courtroom was that of George Kelley, who was a suspect in the Villisca Axe Murders.  No conviction was obtained.

What Is the National Register of Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

What We Do
  • Review nominations submitted by states, tribes, and other federal agencies and list eligible properties in the National Register.
  • Offer guidance on evaluating, documenting, and listing different types of historic places through the National Register Bulletin series and other publications.
  • Help qualified historic properties receive preservation benefits and incentives.
  • Manage the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Program that transfers historic federal light stations to new owners.
  • Sponsor the Cultural Resources Diversity Program to diversify historic preservation and cultural resource management.

Other National Register Properties in Red Oak include:

CB Q Railroad Depot
S. 1st Street

Red Oak Public Library
400 N. 2nd Street

Thos. D. Murphy Company Factory and Power Plant
110 S. 2nd Street

Hebard House
700 N. 8th Street

Osborne House
1020 Boundary Street

Montgomery County Courthouse
2nd and Coolbaugh Streets

Montgomery County Jail
100 W. Coolbaugh Street

Chautauqua Park
Summit Street and Red Oak Blvd.

Red Oak Firehouse and City Jail
318 E. Washington Ave.