Friday, November 25, 2022

The Historic Cooksville Trust Seeks Funds for the Cooksville Archives and Collections Project

The Historic Cooksville Trust, Inc., is seeking funds to continue its “Cooksville Archives and Collections Project” in the basement “parlor” of the historic Cooksville Congregational Church (built in1879), which it now owns.

The Cooksville Congregational Church Archives/Collections Project is underway.

 The Historic Cooksville Trust (HCT), a non-profit IRS 501 (c)(3) charitable organization was established in 1999 and assists the preservation and conservation of the historical heritage of Cooksville and the surrounding Town of Porter in Rock County. Projects in the past have included the preservation of important historic buildings and sites, as well as various educational programs and the "Welcome to Historic Cooksville" highway signs.

This major Church project has begun but recent inflation has greatly increased the costs, so additional funds are needed for this undertaking, as well as for assisting other future preservation projects in the historic village. (HCT has financially assisted about 20 other projects in the past.) 

"The Little Brown Church on the Corner"

Over the years the HCT, has been donated and has collected materials and objects related to the history of Cooksville and the Town of Porter. The new Archives and Collections Center Project is an essential undertaking to preserve and maintain the collections for the future. 

The Church basement Archives/Collections plan.

Visitors, researchers, residents, and groups will be able to utilize the Archives and Collections Center in the Church basement. Of course, the existing upper nave or auditorium of the Church will continue to be available for various ceremonies, musical programs and public events.           

The Church as the Town Hall, c.1950s

In the past, the historic Church served the community for church services, social events, lectures, and club meetings. Then in the 1940s-1960s, the Church became the Porter Town Hall, after which it was sold in 1971, and once again began serving as a venue for weddings, ceremonies and musical performances. 

Now the renovation of the landmark Church and the use of the basement as the new Archives and Collections Center will expand its purpose in the community.   

The Village of Cooksville, established in 1842, has been recognized as a special, well-preserved historic community for the past 180 years. The Cooksville Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Wisconsin Register of Historic Places and is also designated a Historic Conservation District by the Town of Porter in which Cooksville is located.


Donations to fund the Church renovation project, as well as future projects, can be made to Historic Cooksville Trust, Mary Zimmerman, Treasurer, 10706 N. Tolles Rd., Evansville, WI 53536.  Questions can be addressed to Mary at (608) 628-8567 or to Larry Reed at (608) 873-5066. Donations are income tax deductible.


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