Then the deterioration of the old Jacoby Church turned a corner.
A dedicated group of volunteers stepped in to work with the township who ulitmately owned the structure to save it from what seemed to be its certain fate in 2005. Three years of restoration saw a new roof, restored siding and windows, one corner jacked up by nearly a foot and foundation repairs.
While the exterior saw great changes, it was the interior that saw the greatest transformation. The original wood 1860's ceiling was exposed and restored, original pot-bellied stoves put back in place, plaster restored, original pews and furnishings cleaned. She's looking beautiful these days.....just a couple years shy of her 150th birthday.
The church ties for oldest public building in Marshall County with Summit School, from an earlier post......both buildings saved and restored by Wythougan Valley Preservation Council. Wythougan is Native American for the Yellow River that runs through Marshall County. Jacoby Church was listed to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
While spending a few hours doing some work by myself in Jacoby, having the hymn "Come Thou Fount", going through my head with me whistling along.......I found a shredded scrap from a hymnal with that very song on it. Sweet.
An event this past Saturday night was the first the church building has seen in many, many years. Over 100 people attended an evening of food, live folk music, stories of the church at its official unveiling to the public. A former member of one congregation that met there prayed in the invocation that the building that was built to glorify God, would now continue to do so in its new found life.