Verona Historical Society fights to save last remaining Civil War-era house
Just 20 feet of driveway could spell the end for the last house from the original settlement of Verona.
The city of Verona purchased the Matts House, built by Josiah Matts in 1848, last year, hoping to expand the roadway in front of the abandoned residence by 20 feet. What happens to the rest of the property is yet to be decided.
The Verona City Council will begin debate on the issue Monday night. The Verona Historical Society will be there with a proposal to turn the building into a museum and welcome center.
“If you look at bigger cities there’s always a historical section, there’s a museum, there’s people who grow up there their whole lives,” Verona Historical Society member Jesse Charles said. “They get to a point where they say, this place is great and we should preserve that. I think we’re finally at that point.”
The city will also consider other proposals for the building, including demolition or selling it to other interested parties. If the building is sold, the new owner will have to oversee numerous renovations in order to get it back up to code. The last time the building had residents was over 20 years ago.
“We want to make sure the house stays here and whoever is in charge of it takes care of it,” Charles said. “We want to preserve its relevance for another 160 years.”