Save the Delmont Onion House
K E Sam Grosz DELMONT, SD
The Onion House of Delmont, S.D., was damaged in a May 2015 tornado that struck our small town, taking about a third of our town. The Onion House, built in 1902 by Thomas Lenahan has been a landmark since then. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and served several purposes in its life, from private residence, hospital, clothing store, and now a soon-to-be-open museum.
This Historical Society of Delmont received the Onion House as a gift recently, as the owner, Leo Holzbauer, who saved it from demolition after the tornado, felt its proper place was as a landmark for the town. The Onion House also is conveniently located just across the street from the Society's other historic property, The Pumphouse Museum, the old jail, and the charming, chiming Old Bank Clock.
The Society has received a $20,000 matching grant from the Deadwood Fund, to repair the onion-shaped dome. We currently have about $10,000 in hand, but will need another $20,000 to match the grant and take up the slack on what was not awarded. We also need another $30,000 to start on the second phase of the rejuvenation program and establish a fund that will support the Onion House in perpetuity.
These are large numbers for many of us, but be assured that any donation will be appreciated!
Delmont's population was cut by one-third by the tornado, although some have chosen to rebuild. Thankfully, no lives were lost in the tornado, but it did cut into our population base. This is why we have chosen to publicize our efforts to save the Onion House statewide and nationwide. Thank you for any help you can give us in repairing and refurbishing this historic landmark in Douglas County, South Dakota.
Society fundraising chair