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Fundraiser Succeeds for Moses King Brickyard

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Rich Egger
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The money has been raised to pay for materials so volunteers can soon make repairs to the old factory building at the Moses King Brickyard.

A three-month drive to come up with $10,000 hit the mark for the Moses King Brick & Tile Works National Historic District.  The money will help preserve a historic structure and allow arts programming to resume.

“We had donations from as far away as New Orleans, Louisiana, which kind of shocked us,” said Tim Schroll, co-owner of the site near Colchester.

“We had over 60 donations. They ranged from $10 to $1,000.”

He said 76% of the money had been raised 88 days into the 90 day campaign. A couple from Peoria then contacted the Brickyard and said they would cover the balance of what remained after the 90 day period.

Schroll said he and his wife Dev were once again shocked.

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Credit Rich Egger
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Another view of the old factory building.

“It’s hard to ask people for money for a historic thing that they are not part of every day,” Schroll said. “But we think that it was important for the region to save this part of the National Historic District.”

The money will pay for the materials needed to replace the roof on the old factory building.  The building was used to make bricks during portions of the site’s 90 year history as a brickyard.  Repairs will also be made to parts of the building’s substructure damaged by water that poured in through the leaky roof.

The building more recently was used to host arts-related workshops. 

“We have artists that come from all over the United States to do workshops.  We do glass blowing and we do pottery workshops and raku.  We’ve had the university send photography people here.  We’ve had writing workshops come out there,” Schroll said.

“It’s a historical setting but it’s for the arts (too). It’s a multi-faceted opportunity out there.  So you can be surrounded by a very unique historical site but doing art and creating things.”

He said the arts programming had to be put on hold due to concerns over the building’s roof and substructure.

Schroll is lining up volunteer labor to make the repairs, which should be completed by the fall. 

He said the Brickyard can then begin scheduling programming and seeking grants to pay for workshops, which could resume next spring.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.