Stidger Foundation wishes to announce that a Grant application has recently been sent in to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a Grant to begin work on the Stidger house restoration. This is a long process and we may not hear anything for 8-10 weeks. We will try to keep you updated as soon as we hear back from the National Trust.
Stidger Foundation was just given permission to install a Bronze Plaque close to Stidger house on Hwy 44. This Historical Marker will provide information on Stidger and his history. The location will be announced as soon as the bronze plaque is built. This plaque comes at a cost of $3000.00 to the foundation and THANKS go out to the generous citizens and organizations who have donated to this project. Betty and Carl Darnell, Bonnie and Davis Lee Downs, Nathan Nation, Joe Bowen and The Taylorsville Tourism Commission.
***NOTE – DATE CHANGE***
The Spencer County Historical Society will be hosting guest speaker Kent Stevens at the Spencer County Library on Thursday November 1st at 7:00 pm. Kent Stevens will be sharing stories about growing up in the thriving, small town of Van Buren, KY, which is now under Taylorsville Lake. Please join us!
This update is being provided to give all interested persons in the progress of the rebuilding of the 1830’s home of the Union spy, Felix Grundy Stidger. The home was originally listed on the National Register of Historic Places in February, 2016.
Work has continued in different areas since. Among these are repairs to the roof, remove tar based siding, locks on doors, more clean up, continued lawn care and removal of some trees. These efforts have served to stabilize the building.
We secured the services of an Architect to provide a drawing to give an idea of what a finished rebuilding project would look like. The issue of the exterior, be it clap board siding, or exposed logs, has yet to be decided. The roof will be shake shingles construction. See before and hopefully after drawings!
The costs are uncertain at this time. We have one quote, however we’re told we will need competing bids when we so submit an actual Grant application.
Grant applications are a process of contracting Foundations and finding there funding interests. These can be as high as fifteen subjects down to the National Park Service with four categories. They all require that you are a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. Our areas seem to be Historical Restoration, Economic Development, Museums, and Natural Resources.
If anyone who reads this and has a background in Grant writing please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have posted a before and hopefully after picture to give an idea of the size of our project. Any contributions can be made by going to stidger.org and click on the donation section.
We have our main focus now on the Stidger house. This is only the tip of the historical items that exist in Taylorsville, Spencer County, and surrounding counties. There are items to be saved, story’s to be told, and also, the yet to be discovered history that will come out once the attention is focused in the right places. The start is with Stidger and the rehabilitation of the remaining history of downtown Taylorsville. Once it starts there will be no stopping it! We will continue to ask for your support.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A Taylorsville man credited with helping the union win the Civil War has no memorials in the city to honor his service, but that will soon change.
Felix Grundy Stidger was born in a now dilapidated home near the corner of Garrard Street and W. Main Street on Aug. 5, 1836.
“What he did is worth remembering in our history,” said Arnie Mueller, president of the Spencer County Historical and Genealogical Society and vice president of the Felix Grundy Stidger Historic Preservation Trust.
Stidger is credited with infiltrating the Order of the Cross, an Indiana-based group trying to overthrow the government in some northern states.
“No one had a clue that he was a spy,” said Mueller.
Because of that, Stidger was able to thwart a plan that would’ve released an estimated 75,000 rebel prisoners.
“There are all kinds of things that could’ve happened had they succeeded,” Mueller said.
After the war ended, Stidger returned to Taylorsville where he hoped to settle down, but soon discovered there was a $10,000 bounty on his head. He fled north to Chicago where he stayed for the rest of his life.
Forty years after the war, Stidger wrote a book, believing it was time to tell his side of the story. In it he describes “the most gigantic treasonable conspiracy the world has ever known.”
Mueller and others want to keep Stidger’s memory alive by preserving his home. The idea has been around for years, but things finally got rolling last month when the trust secured the deed to the property.
Mueller hopes to first restore the home before working on a memorial and museum. He is still trying to determine how much the renovation will cost. Eventually, the trust will count on donations and grants to fund the project.
“We need to save this history,” he said. “It’s very, very important to save it so people know what happened and how it happened.”
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