Historical Society receives grant

BALDWIN — Large projects often move in small steps. The trick is often taking enough of those steps. This week, the Lake County Historical Society took another step forward on their project to build a new museum and office site in downtown Baldwin.

It received a grant of $2,228 aimed at making sure the new facility is available to everyone in the community.

"The funds will be used to enlarge the restrooms and put in the proper fixtures at the new museum to better accommodate those with disabilities," said Jill Engelman of the Lake County Historical Society.

The grant was awarded on Feb. 28, and will ensure the new building will meet all Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

"We're historically rehabilitating this building to serve the public and if we're doing that, it needs to be accessible for those with disabilities," said Historical Society vice-president Paul Bigford.

The grant was from the Great Lakes Energy People Fund, and the Lake County Historical Society was the only Lake County organization to receive a grant from them during this grant cycle.

"The small grants are usually easier to get than the big ones," remarked Bigford. "This one is through the Great Lakes Energy People Fund, where people can elect to have their energy bills rounded up to the next dollar and that extra few cents gets added into the People Fund for grants and projects like this. It's like the people of communities like Lake County are funding this project themselves."

This is more positive progress for the museum project as society members have recently completed phase one of the new facility, relocating the structures to their new location, and are progressing as rapidly and soundly as possible through phase two, making the new facility ready for the public.

"We've raised to date through donations and pledges of both funds and materials more than $118,000 towards out phase two goal of $240,000," said Engelman. "We have approved the architect to begin drawing up designs for the museum house, and we will begin exterior work when the weather allows."