The Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the history of Blakesburg, Iowa. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Our vision is to create a functional museum, open to the public, in Blakesburg’s original Post Office. As a local museum, this historic building will be saved and will showcase artifacts and pieces of history which may otherwise be lost or thrown away.
Our story starts in the late 1990’s, when a few energetic volunteers from the greater Blakesburg community, undertook a “renew and restore” mission for some of Blakesburg’s last remaining historic structures. Supported by Blakesburg’s then mayor and council, their goal was to restore two structures in Blakesburg: the old City Hall building built in 1923, and Blakesburg’s first U.S. Post Office, built at the turn of the century under the guidance of then Postmaster Moses Henry Abernathy. Using monies from donations, fund-raising, and a community development grant, this loosely formed group of volunteers began the renovation process on both buildings, replacing roofs, repairing the stucco on the City Hall, tearing down the false ceiling in the Post Office, and refinishing floors and wainscoting in building interiors.
The volunteers also organized their group, naming themselves the Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society, electing officers, and opening up their own bank account in April 1999. Collecting artifacts relevant to Blakesburg’s history also became an initiative for these early volunteers.
After several years, time and money became a concern for the volunteers, and their restoration efforts were complicated by a different City administration which proposed the demolition of the 1923 City Hall building. Sadly, the City chose to raze the community’s historic City Hall building in 2007. In the years to follow, the volunteers continued to meet occasionally, but their momentum and the work on the old Post Office had been weakened.
In November of 2009, the volunteer organization was once again re-invigorated with an increase in interest and activity. The BHPS volunteers elected to formally organize themselves as a non-profit corporation under Iowa law and subsequently filed Articles of Incorporation with the Iowa Secretary of State in May of 2011. The organizational steps to form the corporation included the election of Corporate Officers and a Board of Directors who were tasked with administering the affairs of the non-profit entity. Once incorporated, BHPS began the process of becoming a 501(c)(3) organization, and received its positive determination letter from the IRS in September of 2012.
Today, BHPS has accelerated the goals of our earlier volunteers. Aided by grants and generous donations, work on the old U.S. Post Office has been fast-tracked with the installation of new heating and cooling systems, new electrical wiring, the installation of security bars and cameras, and the construction of a handicapped accessible bathroom. The vision of having a Museum in Blakesburg has come to fruition, and our collection of artifacts displayed in the Blakesburg Community Museum continues to grow because of the generous people who share our passion for Blakesburg history. We are overwhelmed with ideas for future projects, programs, and events. With the continued dedication of our Board of Directors, our volunteers, our community, and people from afar who remain passionate about their ties to this community, BHPS will continue to promote and advance the preservation of this community’s history and way of life.