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Preservation Racine Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to identify and to actively encourage the preservation of buildings, sites and districts in the Racine community that have historical, architectural or cultural value.

This is the culmination of our 40th anniversary year. Looking back at some of the interesting events our organization has experienced this year reminds us of the importance historic preservation has in our community.

- April 2013: This meeting was held at the Case New Holland training Center in Sturtevant. Kaleb Case shared memories of the Case family, including his great grandfather, J.I. Case, Jackson Case, his grandfather and his father, Roy Case. It was interesting hearing the history of the Case Co. from a family members viewpoint. The event concluded with the opportunity to view equipment.

- May 2013: Preservation Racine hosted Century Buildings at the DeKoven Center as 12 Racine County buildings and their owners were recognized.

- May 9, 2013: Fred Hermes invited us to his Hermes Basement Bijou Theater to kick off the Garden Party. The event acknowledged the artists involved with designing works of art using plaster moldings from the Venetian Theater to be auctioned at the July Garden Party. We viewed Doug Wick’s movie Requiem of the Venetian.

- June: Our meeting took us to the Yorkville 4-H Club on Old Yorkville Road in Union Grove. Julie Moyer told us of the interesting history of the Cornish people that settled there and the history of the schoolhouse, now the Yorkville 4-H Clover Center.

- July: A 40th Anniversary Celebration Garden Party was held July 28 on the grounds of the DeKoven Center to commemorate its founding. Food, entertainment, exhibits, auctions, workshops and carriage rides were some of the exciting activities available for those who attended.

- August: Union Grove Congregational United Church of Christ hosted this meeting that began with a brief history of the church. Two Union Grove Historians, Mary Nichols and Sharon Tilton, described the special history of the Civil War Bible on display that was presented to the church by several Union Grove soldiers before they left to fight for the Union.

- September: Our 38th Annual “Tour of Historic Places, Yesterday’s Tomorrows. Seven buildings were open to tour along with a special exhibit by Jim Mercier of Horlicks Malted Milk memorabilia.

- November: Mary Murdoch gave us a glimpse into the life of a widowed Mary Lincoln with her impersonation. The meeting was held at the Masonic Temple, and Janet Kuhl provided the refreshments based on a cookbook member Ron Dunnett had purchased titled “Lincoln’s Table.”

- December: Kewpee’s was the host for this meeting. Heritage Museum Educator, Cheryl Maraccini spoke about the “Dinner at the Diner” program and Carol Gianforte read one of her nostalgic stories of places in Racine. Kewpee’s owner Rick Buehrens told us about the history of this well-known Racine diner.

- February: We met at Gateway Technical College in the Great Lakes Room; Lincoln Specialist and Preservation Racine Past President, Steven Rogstad’ presented a video titled “The Lincolns of Springfield, Illinois.”

- March: “Remembering Racine’s Forgotten Man” was the topic of the presentation and exhibit given by Judith Schulz, sixth generation member of the First United Methodist Church in Racine. Recognized as Racine County’s first official historian, Eugene Leach (1857-1938) is the author of historical writings: Early Racine and the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Racine County Militant, Yesterday and Today in Racine, and 121 feature newspaper articles.

- April: Betsy Miller hosted this meeting at Meadowbrook Country Club. David Rozelle, author of “The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree” with illustrator C.A. Grooms gave a presentation about the book as well as David’s life at the Taylor Orphanage in Racine. Several guests in attendance had also spent some of their childhood at the orphanage in Racine.

As evidenced in this review of the last year, Preservation Racine remains a thriving and active organization. Please consider joining us and get involved in learning and preserving the history of our community. Our next meeting, always open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 2, at the DeKoven Center. The topic for the evening will be a proposed expansion of Taylor Hall.


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