Our new home@IOOF Building

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KCRF has had the rare opportunity to purchase for its permanent home, and for the use of the community as well, the former home of the International Order of Odd Fellows at 112- 114 South Main Street in Mount Vernon, Ohio. The building was constructed circa 1858. It was a hardware store originally, and  became the home of the Quindaro Chapter in the 1880’s. It was owned by the chapter and the Rebeccas, the ladies organization,  until 2009 when it was sold to KCRF.

The  Quindaro chapter  merged with the Westerville, Ohio chapter which has merged with other chapters as well and no longer needed the building, but wishing to preserve the historic structure they sold it to a historically sensitive organization, the Knox County Renaissance Foundation. That it remains mostly unchanged from its Italianate -Victorian and Eastlake influences over such a long period of time has presented a wonderful opportunity to restore this Mount Vernon landmark to its place of prominence downtown and to make a statement for historic preservation.

A long-term tenant, the Williams Flower Shop used to occupy the first floor retail space, but now Shakti Fit Yoga has moved in. The second floor was the fellowship hall for the IOOF and has a patterned tin ceiling in the rear section of that floor. KCRF has converted the front section of that floor into rental office space also occupied by Shakti Fit Yoga. There is also a kitchen and dining area in the rear of this floor for the use of the third floor. The kitchen  has not been restored as of yet.

The  restored third floor houses the wood wainscoted meeting hall with a wooden floor, high ceiling with crown molding, a beautiful ceiling medallion, and IOOF memorabilia. There is a stairway up to a ‘fourth’ level for storage and lighting displays.

After restoration third floor meeting hall

After restoration third floor meeting hall

Many possibilities exist for the third floor as a museum, stage, meeting and event location for the community. It is for rent on an hourly or daily basis.   See the Bulletin Board page for more details or email Jeff Gottke at <gottkejs@hotmail.com>.

KCRF’s mission is to preserve and promote the cultural, historical, and architectural heritage of this community. Restoration of this building has been the perfect new project for our mission, but it has also been a big challenge for an organization with a modest income. That is why we need the support of the community. There is more to do. We are currently exploring ways to raise more money to finish the project.

Check the Bulletin Board page for progress reports on the building’s restoration.

Since we are a tax-exempt corporation your contribution to or membership in KCRF is fully tax-deductible and would be greatly appreciated.

We need your help. We need you to get involved on any level you can.  Call  Jeff Gottke at 358-8977 or contact us by email at kcrfioof@yahoo.com. Come to our monthly meeting. Join us. Regular scheduled meetings are usually the second Thursday of each month at 112 South Main, third floor, or Sips Coffee House.

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