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Norma Hall takes a short day trip

One of the largest restoration projects at Kenmare's Pioneer Village has begun with a temporary movement of a marquee building.

4/29/14 (Tue)

Short move... Norma Hall stands on beams April 22 and is ready to move. Happy House Movers of Bottineau was contracted to move the building just enough so that a permanent foundation can be poured for the building in Kenmare's Pioneer Village.

By Marvin Baker

One of the largest restoration projects at Kenmare’s Pioneer Village has begun with a temporary movement of a marquee building.

On April 22 (Tuesday) Happy House Movers of Bottineau was contracted to re-locate the historical Norma Hall just far enough away so that a new foundation can be poured to permanently secure the building.

“The board put together a financial package to do a solid and more level solution,” Lake County Historical Society President Bryan Quigley said. “Rob Wittman Construction will build the new foundation, Gravesen Electric disconnected the power to the building, MDU removed an old light pole and installed a new one and Fat Boys Construction removed the deck they built a few years ago that they donated.”

Quigley said the total project is expected to cost $25,000.

Thus far, about $3,000 has been spent to shore up the building that had been sitting on barrels filled with concrete on a slight incline.

“Over the years the barrels have started to tilt,” Quigley said. “We spent $3,000 to have it leveled on one occasion but it was becoming unlevel again. The building was sinking on the north and west side.”

The move was made with displays inside the hall left in place. He said wheel chairs rolled around a bit but for the most part, everything stayed in place as Happy House Movers were careful in lifting, securing and finally moving the building.

“We are working to have everything in place and ready for Pioneer Day July 13,” Quigley said.

So the board knew that something had to be done with this building that was moved into Pioneer Village in the late 1970s or early ‘80s, according to Quigley.

This time around, the site will be leveled first with fill dirt brought in to create a level surface so the building doesn’t shift over time.

Renovation money was raised through identical $5,000 grants from Vet’s Gaming and Fund Itt and $12,900 through a Ward County tax levy.

In addition, proceeds from a Pioneer Village Day and raffle, that will be held July 13, should help the Historical Society get close to funding the complete package.

“The public is encouraged to buy raffle tickets as that is a major funding source for doing the work in Pioneer Village,” Quigley said. “They are for sale at many businesses and individuals throughout the community. They cost $10 each, three for $20, or a book of 12 for $75.”

But it doesn’t stop there. Quigley said there is plenty of other work to do from now until Pioneer Village Day, which happens on a mid July Sunday.

He said there is no doubt the Norma Hall is one of the bigger projects in the village, but there are others that will need a new roof and a permanent foundation.

Other buildings on a list for foundations include Anne’s Dress Shop, Grain Cleaning Building, McBride’s Meat Market, Doll House and the Nott family home.

“If donors would like to donate toward any future foundations, we would celebrate. And if anyone is looking for a painting job, landscaping, etc., we have a job for you,” Quigley said. “Volunteers of all skills are needed...” Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!