The mission of Maple Place is to restore, preserve, and maintain the history and historic structure of the Connor Lumber and Land Company Store and maintain its importance and significance with regard to economic progress, quality of life, and preservation of the history within the Laona community.
The Connor Lumber and Land Company Store has been an essential part of the Laona community since 1914, when the current building was constructed after a fire destroyed the original wooden structure. Throughout the years, the building has served the local and surrounding communities in commerce, government, education, and economic development through providing essential mainstays to the rural areas. In 2016, the vacant building was purchased with intent to restore. As of the end of 2019, the Connor Lumber and Land Company Store is listed in both the state and national registries of historic places, and restoration efforts to the building have progressed steadily, with the first floor nearly reset and deconstructed in preparation for a historic rebuild.
As we begin this year (2020), big changes are happening. Maple Place Inc. assumed ownership of the historic Connor Lumber and Land Company Store as of January 1, 2020, and we need help with our capital campaign to cover a years' worth of operating expenses in order to focus all grant funding toward restoration efforts.
Maple Place Inc. plans not only to restore the Connor Lumber and Land Company Store to its original historic facade but also to incorporate a conglomeration of different amenities within the building to make it once more a fully functional cornerstone to the Laona community - both with regard to preservation and pride in local history and promotion of economic development and sustainability - one that can and will endure in the same fashion as the original building's intended design.
One of our current challenges is replacement of the nearly 12,000 square-foot roof of the original portion of the building. Prior to the 2016 building purchase, several sections of the roof were damaged due to weather and age and were given temporary patches to prevent further damage to the historic interior and to the integrity of the building structure. It is essential that the roof be completely removed and replaced with brand new materials in order to preserve the building and prevent any additional damage to its interior. Without a complete restoration to the roof, we will be unable to proceed with other restoration components.
Please consider being a part of this process and a part of helping maintain and restore a historic building that will, in turn, help throughout the years with giving back to the local community in so many ways. Additional information on the building's restoration components can be found through our business plan, located on our website.