(Staff photo by Phyllis McLaughlin/pmclaughlin@madisoncourier.com)
(Staff photo by Phyllis McLaughlin/pmclaughlin@madisoncourier.com)
With a $5,000 grant from the county’s preservation fund, a $1,000 donation from the Celtic Society and another $5,000 from its own budget, the Jefferson County Historical Society is within reach of putting a new roof on the Madison train depot.

The depot, now a museum housing pieces from Indiana’s first railroad line, sits in front of the Historical Society’s History Center at 615 W. First St.

Executive Director John Nyberg estimates the roof replacement will cost about $15,000 – and he is hoping to raise another $4,000 for the project.

Though the roof lost shingles in the windstorm that hit the Courierarea on March 1, age is the main reason for the replacement,

“It’s 27 years old and starting to let go,” Nyberg said Thursday. “The winds pulled up more shingles and showed what bad shape it’s in. It’s not an insurance issue, and it’s not weather damage. It’s just age.”

Nyberg said he plans to replace the roof with fiberglass shingles designed to look like the depot’s original slate roof.

“It’s a more heavy-duty shingle; it will improve the look and improve the life of the roof,” he said. “It’s a wonderful investment and will protect a great exhibit.”

This will be the first stage of a project that includes replacing the roof on the original section of the History Center and the roof on the addition, which houses the exhibit hall and the society’s archives and research library. He said he expects the total replacement cost of the center’s roof to hit about $35,000 – also money the society will have to raise.

Though named for the county, Nyberg said the historical society is a private, nonprofit organization that does not receive funding from the county, city or the state.

The organization meets its annual $120,000 budget through grants, donations and gifts, he said.

He is hoping that everyone in the county will get involved in raising funds for the roof projects.

Through donations, Nyberg said the center has artifacts from “every township in this county. We receive hundreds of objects a year, and we take care of them. We are the stewards of these pieces forever.”

For more information about the society, the history center or the roof project, call Nyberg at (812) 265-2335.