Work will soon begin on restoring a 1906 carriage house in Sedalia.

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) granted $10,000 to the Osage Chapter of the DAR on April 19 for that purpose, and an official ceremony and social was held Friday morning inside the Heard House, 200 West Broadway, to celebrate that achievement.

The grant will be matched by $10,000 local dollars, so renovation work on the $20,000 project will begin on the second week of July for the "Carriage House Stabilization Project," according to Heard Memorial Club House President Judy Woolery.

"We wanted to have a special thank you to the Osage chapter of the DAR, who sponsored our application for the $10,000 grant, which we received. We even had the state regent from Columbia here," Woolery explained. "So it is a big day."

Woolery added that it was the local chapter's first attempt at grant writing, so with the assistance of Betty Blackwell, Barbara Schrader, Marty Graves, Pat Palmer and Woolery, a grant was submitted before the deadline in mid-December in hopes of hearing a positive response. "We took a real leap of faith," she said to the group gathered at the Heard House on a stormy day. "We submitted our grant and forgot about it. Then we got the email."

The email arrived on April 19.

“I had to read it three or four times to understand it,” Woolery said May 8. 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.

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 came from Jeanne Preston, national chair of the NSDAR Special Projects Committee

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.

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.

The local board is governed by Trustees Tom Koetting and Stafford Swearingen. "We raise money, make decisions and care for the house," Woolery explained.

Stabilization work is scheduled for the carriage house's foundation, followed by work on the walls and a new roof. The project is not expected to be completed for three years.

"It is a piece of history that doesn't exist anymore,"Woolery noted. "People lived like this in the not-too-distant past. They had horses and buggies," she said. Once the project is complete, it will be used for programming and rental. The Heard House was rented out for a wedding in September.

Friday morning's event featured a variety of refreshments, punch and music by local musician and music instructor Darrin Hartman, as well as an appearance by local Regent Pat Palmer (from Clinton) and State Regent Cindy Beall Suich of the Missouri State Society of the DAR (from Columbia).

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