By Sue Moore
The symbolic handing over of the keys to the new pavilion by the Historical Society leadership took place at the last December meeting of the Vicksburg Village Council. Having no keys to give since the structure has no doors, Margaret Kerchief and Kristina Powers Aubry, president and vice-president respectively, handed over a block of wood to Ken Schippers, acting village manager.
The two representatives of the Historical Society were leaving their posts as officers at the end of December and wanted to tie up loose ends of their two years of work on the pavilion and other projects.
It has been the norm in the past for any building constructed in the Historic Village to be given over to Village ownership, once it has been completed, as the park is Village property.
A unique arrangement between the Village, the Historical Society and the Historic Village was worked out in 2007 where the buildings’ interiors are the Society’s responsibility, but the land and the exterior of the buildings are owned and cared for by the Village of Vicksburg.
Thus, the ceremonial keys to the pavilion were handed over. Nevertheless, Powers Aubry and Kerchief cited the work that still needs to be accomplished for the spring opening of the Farmers’ Market. The steel roof, the electrical finishing work, and future construction of bathrooms will be needed to complete the project.
Additional funds will be needed but the Council accepted the symbolic keys with the caveat that the Historical Society would continue to raise money and complete the construction through Frederick Construction Company which has donated time and talents to coordinate the project.
Powers Aubry also gave an update on the Historic Village Committee’s strategic plan, which was finalized in December, so that she could feel that her work was done. She has been the long-serving chair of this committee that is appointed by the Village Council and answerable to it via yearly reports.
The plan includes other buildings that might be built in the Historic Village. A general store is envisioned with a sweet shop, such as Doris-Lee’s used to be. Much of their equipment was donated to the Historical Society a few years ago.
A small chapel to go with the gazebo already on the property would follow so that weddings could be performed in an enclosed place. Other buildings in the dreaming stages are an opera house, a granary, spring house, and a mint.