The holidays are coming down the tracks in Batesville. Through the end of the year, the Batesville Historical Center is featuring a wide range of trains chugging through miniature winter scenes. On loan from local train enthusiast Ron Lahmann Sr., the train display is a great reason to check out the Batesville Area Historical Society’s landmark home.
Built as modest Queen Anne home in 1910 by John O. Kaiser, the museum originally stood one block east but was moved for construction of the local post office in 1936. The house changed hands a number of times through the twentieth century and was vacant when the historical society bought it in 2008. The group organized more than 2,000 hours of volunteer work by local residents and organizations — including students from Batesville High School — to rehabilitate the neglected building. Crews wrestled with burst pipes, mold, and crumbling plaster, but were able to save the house’s decorative woodwork, massive pocket doors, and eye-catching stained glass. To replace a segment of missing flooring, workers used salvaged pieces of the high school’s old basketball court. Appropriately, that area of the museum now houses Batesville High School sports memorabilia.
The society recently launched a fundraising campaign to repair and replace damaged siding and introduce a more colorful period exterior paint scheme. To follow their progress, donate to project, or keep tabs on special exhibits and events, check out the Batesville Area Historical Society on Facebook.
The free train exhibit All Aboard!runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through January. Visit the organization’s website for details.
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