Renovation of a 1906 carriage house at 200 West Broadway got a major boost after Heard Memorial Club House President Judy Woolery was notified April 19 that a $10,000 grant requested from the DAR was approved.

Local matching funds of $10,000 will take the total cost of the project to $20,000, Woolery said. Work on the “Carriage House Stabilization Project” is expected to begin the second week of July. "The contract is signed," she said of the three-step renovation.

“The grant-writing committee was Barbara Schrader, Marty Graves, Pat Palmer and myself,” Woolery said. “Well, we didn't know much about grant writing, but we knew Betty Blackwell.”

Blackwell formatted the grant application and and it was sent in mid-December. Funding for the project was made possible through the sponsorship of the Osage Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Confirmation of the grant from Jeanne Preston, national chair of the NSDAR Special Projects Committee in the maximum amount in April was shocking to Woolery, to say the least.

“I had to read it three or four times to understand it,” Woolery said. It was total shock. We are very fortunate, very thankful and very appreciative.”

A total of 48 grants were awarded by the NSDAR for 2019-2020. The Heard House Board was the recipient of one of six $10,000 grants awarded nationally for historic preservation, and one of only two in Missouri.

The Heard House is the former home of Sen. John Heard and his wife and the current club house for the Helen G. Steele Music Club and the Sorosis Club.

Special thanks goes to Pat Palmer, Osage Chapter Regent and Sorosis member, who informed the board of directors of the Special Projects Grant and took an active role in writing a letter of sponsorship,” Woolery said.

Wednesday's announcement was attended by members of Sorosis, Helen G. Steele Music Club members and the DAR, as well as Sedalia Mayor John Kehde and Heard House Trustee Stafford Swearingen.

DAR boasts 185,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership.

The Heard Memorial Club House is a two-story, buff brick, classical revival house with “eclectic Italian Renaissance” accents. Built in 1906 as a residence for Senator and Mrs. John Heard, the property was entrusted by Lillian Heard in 1935 for use by Sorosis Club and Helen G. Steele Music Club as a permanent club house to be used for educational and charitable purposes.

The Sorosis Club, the second oldest women’s organization in Missouri, established in 1889, focuses on self-improvement and education. The Helen G. Steele Music Club, established in 1893, began as a music club that encouraged music education in the schools. It was instrumental in organizing the Sedalia Symphony, the second oldest symphony west of the Mississippi.

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