Historical Society Aims to Save Piece of History

9 years 7 months 2 days ago Wednesday, December 01 2010 Dec 1, 2010 Wednesday, December 01, 2010 6:39:13 PM CST December 01, 2010 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Historical Society said Wednesday it is working to save what is being called a state treasure. Van Horn's Tavern was built back in 1830. It was a major stop in the frontier days on the Boonslick Trail. Washington Irving once stayed there on a trip out west. Now, the Boone County Historical Society is trying to make sure it won't be forgotten.

Pat and Rita Dougherty donated the tavern to the historical society just more than a year ago. Now, project manager David Sapp is working to raise the $250,000 needed to disassemble, refurbish and re-erect the building in Boone Junction, the Historical Society's replica historical village on Highway 63.

Even though Sapp said the building is in surprisingly good condition, the historical society wants to get the tavern moved as soon as possible.

"That good condition is not going to last much longer," Sapp said. "It is starting to get some leakage in the roof. Some of the animals are undermining the supports on part of it."

As a result, Sapp is trying to move forward as soon as possible. He must help raise $25,000 to take the tavern down and put it into storage. Then the process will begin to raise the rest of the money in order to refurbish and reassemble the structure.

After living with the tavern in his backyard for more than 40 years, Dougherty said he's going to miss having it around. But once it moves to the historical society, he has a plan.

"I'll probably go up there and be a volunteer so I can see it more often," he said with a laugh.

Sapp said, though the $250,000 may seem like a lot, he expects the county will make that money back. Once the project is finished--the completion is projected to be five years down the road--he said he expects people from around the state and the midwest will be coming to Columbia to get a look.

Said Sapp, "It is that unusual and that fine of an example of this type of history."

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