2017-07-05 Tabor, Iowa- The Tabor Historical Society, represented by Chuck Douglass, Kathy Douglass, Bob Benton, Janet Benton, received Preservation Iowa’s award for best rural preservation project for their efforts on the Reverend John Todd House in Tabor. The award was presented at the Preserve Iowa Summit in Fort Dodge held in June.
Preservation Iowa’s The John Todd House, was built as the residence for the Reverend John Todd family in 1853. The Todd House is nationally significant for its connection to antislavery activities. Listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, and as a contributing building in the Tabor Antislavery Historic District in 2007, this small house remains largely intact. Due to its strong and well-documented connections to the fight against slavery, it is included as a site in the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program.
The Todd House is a small building, with an area totaling about 900 square feet. The original house, 1 ½ stories, was built in 1853. Additions were made in 1868 and 1890.
Since 1967, the property has been owned by the Tabor Historical Society. Understanding that the site was deteriorating, the group commissioned a Historic Structure Report in 2013, so that any future preservation effort would be well thought out and meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation. Recently, Phase I of the restoration was completed. While many other entities did important work on this preservation project, it was the Tabor Historical Society leadership team that solicited local funds, answered community members’ daily questions about the schedule, and continued to operate the museum through the years-long process of fundraising, planning, and implementing the project.
Each year Preservation Iowa honors individuals, organizations, projects, and programs whose work demonstrates a commitment to excellence in historic preservation. The award not only honors significant restoration projects, but inspires others to take action to preserve, protect, and promote Iowa’s places that matter.
Preservation Iowa is the statewide non-profit advocate for historic preservation. The group’s mission is to build partnerships that enhance our economic and cultural future through the preservation of Iowa's historic resources.
Tours of the historic Reverend John Todd House are available by appointment. To schedule a tour, contact the Tabor Historical Society at 712.313.0102.