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Last updated on Saturday, April 20, 2013
(WASHINGTON) - The old Daviess County Home will soon be a memory as the current owners, Lighthouse Recovery Center, have decided to tear it down.
Nick Smith of the Washington Times Herald reports that the demolition of the building has angered Daviess County Historical Society Director Vince Sellers, who said the building can be saved.
The decision to demolish the building, built in 1865, came from Lighthouse Director Pete Aldrich, who said the building was no longer safe and too far deteriorated to fix.
Aldrich said the house is crumbling and a persistent mold situation has kept people from living in the former county home. The wood and electrical wires are also deteriorating, and other than the structure, there has been nothing left in the home that would be considered historical.
In 2006, the drug recovery program bought the property from the Daviess County Commissioners to house males and help rehabilitate drug offenders.
The commissioners, in the deal, put on a new roof, new windows and a new septic system.
Lighthouse has in recent years renovated much of the property near the Daviess County Airport. Sellers said he and the state Department of Natural Resources had surveyed the building and felt it could be saved.
An example, Sellers said, was the old Meredith Hotel on Main Street before it was set on fire in 2007. He said a group went through the old hotel and believed they could renovate the dilapidated building.
Daviess County Commissioner Tony Wichman agrees with Aldrich's assessment of the building saying the county's on-call engineering firm of RQAW was called into assess the building last year and said there was nothing that could be saved.
The county has the first right of refusal for the parcel and Lighthouse still uses the property.
They have constructed a new dormitory for the men, which brought Aldrich and Sellers at odds over a possible gravesite.
After an archaeologist was called in and investigated, there were no graves found.
The historical society, Sellers said, will not challenge the demolition in court.
Aldrich said the space is slated to be a parking lot for the new dormitory and buildings on the property.
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