MARION — No rain has been leaking into the 1848 Granger House Victorian Museum, and caretakers are hoping to replace the failing cedar roof before that happens.
The 20-year-old roof is worn and growing moss, so board members are asking for the community’s help in paying for a new cedar roof at the museum, located at 970 10th Street.
Cedar shingles are more expensive than asphalt ones, but because of the home’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the new shingles need to be cedar to retain historical authenticity.
Adam Hyatt, the Granger House board president, said the board will need about $30,000 for the roof replacement.
The home’s carriage house also will need replacing in the near future, added Vicki Noah, board vice president.
Proceeds from summer events will go toward the roof work. The museum also relies on memberships and visitor donations for revenue, Noah said.
Donations of cedar shingles also are being accepted, as well as other restoration needs, like stainless steel staples,
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Hyatt said it’s important to maintain the museum because it’s the only example in the Cedar Rapids area of how a Victorian middle-class family lived in the late 19th century.
The Granger House was built around 1860 and was home for the Earl and Dora Granger family for almost 100 years, from 1876 to 1973.
Noah said some people are interested in the Granger family ghosts that supposedly continue to inhabit in the house.
“We’re just interested in preserving the history,” Noah said. “The family in general was heavily involved with the community. It’s just kind of neat to share their story. We have a lot of the original artifacts that the family owned, which a lot of museums don’t have things that are original items.”
She said museum volunteers frequently hear visitors exclaim they’ve “driven by the house a thousand times” without stopping. When they do, they like what they see.
“I think people don’t realize everything that goes on underneath this roof.”
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