E.H.P.S. saves historic Elsberry buildings

 Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

On August 10 the Elsberry Historic Preservation Society will officially assume ownership of the buildings at 308, 310 and 312 Main Street in Elsberry. The buildings were previously owned by Jim and Harriet Serles who ran a coin shop and antique store at that location until approximately one year ago.

On August 10 the Elsberry Historic Preservation Society will officially assume ownership of the buildings at 308, 310 and 312 Main Street in Elsberry. The buildings were previously owned by Jim and Harriet Serles who ran a coin shop and antique store at that location until approximately one year ago.

Since the formation of the Elsberry Historic Preservation Society in 2002, members of the group have been fighting to preserve as much of Elsberry’s local history as possible.

“Knowing that everybody was getting older and all the history was disappearing really motivated some of us to try and preserve it before it got out of our hands,” said Pat Mesker, president of the society.

Some of the group’s first attempts at salvaging local historic landmarks included the old elevator once owned by the Galloway family and the Claude Robinson House, which is now located at 106 N. 2nd St. in Elsberry.

The Robinson House has required quite a bit of time, labor and financial resources and as such it has made it difficult for the society to pursue other buildings and/or structures in the area.

“We really operate on a pretty close budget,” said Mesker. “We have a fundraiser once a year that brings us maybe between $4,000 and $5,000. That money goes right back into the Robinson House.”

Despite the group’s limited financial resources, Mesker said he and the other members are always interested in the possibility of acquiring more of the city’s vacant buildings rather than seeing them torn down.

This month they have managed to do just that.

During the August 4 meeting of the society, Mesker informed members that on August 10 the group would officially take possession of the buildings at 308, 310 and 312 Main Street in Elsberry that were once owned by Jim and Harriet Serles.

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