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At the 35th Annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation awards ceremony, the Friends of Sherman Tavern received the Preservation
Project Award for an outstanding example of restoration or rehabilitation of a historic building, the Sherman Tavern, located in Grant County on route US 25.
Each May, which is National Historic Preservation Month, the awards are presented in partnership with the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office.
They recognize those who have demonstrated an understanding of and appreciation for the value of preserving and reusing Kentucky’s historic resources, whether through the rehabilitation of an important structure or community resource, or lifetime commitment to encouraging and promoting historic preservation.
Eleven members of the Friends of Sherman Tavern traveled to Frankfort where Steve Collins, the board chairman presented, the award.
Collins recounted that this group of volunteers began work in 2007 to preserve this circa 1812 tavern.
“By 2011, more than $30,000 had been raised and spent on preserving the building – all from private donations, yard sales, bake sales and dinners,” he said. “An estimated 6,000 man-hours were donated by a core group of about 20 men and women, assisted by inmates of the Grant County Detention Center. Work continues today as the restoration process continues. Their goal is in sight, to have the building put back into use as a community meeting place, museum and educational learning lab.”
Friends of Bethel Church in Pendleton County were also recipients of a Preservation Project Award for the rehabilitation of Bethel Church.
Accepting the award were Obie Fardo, Frank Hussung, Billie Newman and Charlie Pyles.
It was noted that the average age of these men was about 70; all retired who share a knack for fixing things and have a compassion and respect for history.
The awards are named for the late Ida Lee Willis, a former Kentucky first lady who was appointed first executive director of the Kentucky Heritage Commission (now the Kentucky Heritage Council) in 1966.
The foundation was chartered in 1979 to honor her efforts in helping preserve Kentucky’s historic and archaeological resources.
Friends of Sherman Tavern President Clay Parks thanked the Foundation for this recognition and thanked all those who have contributed to and supported this project.