By Karen Butterfield
Missourian Staff Writer
The Washington Park Committee gave its nod to the Washington Historical Society taking over the responsibilities of operating the Kohmueller house, which previously was operated by Washington Preservation Inc. (WPI)
The Kohmueller house is located between the Four Rivers Area Family YMCA and Lions Lake in Washington.
“It’s a nice little gem. We have wonderful modern facilities and it’s nice to have a nod to the past among the modern playground equipment,” said Marc Houseman, Washington Historical Society museum director. “It’s a little snippet of the past that’s still intact and we can make it something we can all be proud of and make use of in some way or another.”
Washington Preservation Inc. requested to maintain the building located on park property more than 25 years ago.
Now that the group is defunct, the Washington Historical Society wants to take over maintaining the historical house.
“Knowing they were going to fold, we were mildly concerned to what might happen to the house,” Houseman said. “It’s a nice little asset in the park, and we thought we would approach (WPI) and ask if they would pass the torch to us but the city actually owns the property.”
Houseman said he hopes the proposal is approved.
The city will still own the 19th century farmhouse, Houseman noted. The society would take over routine maintenance, payment of the electric bills and perform repairs as needed.
“The benefit to us is that we can take groups of school kids there for living history events that were done a number of years ago but haven’t been done in recent years,” Houseman said. “Since it’s right here in town, it would be nice to have, mainly for educational purposes.”
A committee, headed by Walt Larson, has been formed with members willing to be active in the Kohmueller house project.
Larson is a member of the historical society board. He also was a member of Washington Preservation Inc.
The proposal will move to the full park board’s Jan. 6 meeting. If approved, it will go to the city council for final approval.