Help arrives for Metamora Courthouse columns

Staff Writer
Woodford Times
Eureka Community Bank donates $1,000 to the restoration of the Metamora Courthouse Columns. Pictured from left: Dawn Maloney, Barbara Bradle, Karen Fyke, Annette Mischley and Julie Harmon

 An anonymous donor has agreed to match gifts up to $10,000 for the repair of the columns on the Historic Metamora Courthouse.

One of the first donations to be matched is $1,000 donated by the Eureka Community Bank. Groups, individuals and organizations are encouraged to help provide the funds to repair the two columns that are in serious need of repair.

The Courthouse was built in 1845 and served as the center of county government until the county seat was moved to Eureka in 1896. It is one of two surviving courthouses on the historic Eighth Judicial Circuit traveled by Abraham Lincoln.

Years of weather have caused damage that needs to be repaired.

The State of Illinois has provided funds to tuck point, re-plaster and paint the building, but the money ran out before the repairs on the exterior columns could be accomplished.

The two center columns are original to the building.

The interior support of each column is a walnut tree with the bark still on it. The outside of each column is clad in white-painted wood that is giving way.

To repair the columns to pristine condition will cost in the neighborhood of $23,000.

Since the state is out of money, the Woodford County Historical Society has agreed to organize the repairs and has created a committee, Historic Metamora Courthouse Repair Committee, under the direction of Museum Curator Jean Myers. The Society is a tax-exempt entity, and all donations are deductible.

To donate to the fund, please send checks to W.C.H.S. Metamora Courthouse Repair Fund at 112 N. Main, Eureka, IL 61530.

For more information, call the Courthouse at 309-367-4470.