Landmark & Legacy:  The Campaign to Rehabilitate the Douglas Mansion

For those of you that are in the Linn County Region, you’ve probably heard that The History Center received some significant support for the Landmark & Legacy Campaign to rehabilitate the Douglas Mansion.

The Jeffris Family Foundation is located in Janesville, Wisconsin.  Its mission is to preserve the cultural history and heritage of the Midwest through the preservation of regionally and nationally important historic buildings and decorative arts projects.  They support the preservation of history and culture and the unique sense of place in towns and cities and develop significant historic sites in eight Midwestern States.  The Foundation supports significant projects that strive for high preservation standards and show a strong degree of local support.

In order to apply for this grant, The History Center had to produce a fairly detailed Historic Structures Report.  This document tells the history of the Douglas Mansion, and provides an in-depth description of how The History Center plans to bring it back to its 1920s glory.  This has become the bible of the rehabilitation process, and is an invaluable tool.

The History Center was honored with a $400,000 challenge grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation.  This means that the museum needs to raise $800,000 to match this challenge.

Soon after the Jeffris Foundation offered this extraordinary gift, The History Center was blessed with a grant from the Hall-Perrine Foundation, located in Cedar Rapids.  The Hall-Perrine Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people of Linn County, Iowa, by responding to changing social, economic and cultural needs.  The Hall-Perrine Foundation’s founders actually have a direct connection to the Douglas Mansion, as Margaret Douglas, the daughter of the first family to own the Douglas Mansion married Howard Hall (of the Hall-Perrine Foundation).  The Hall-Perrine Foundation offered a grant of $500,000 contingent upon The History Center raising the other $3.4 million.  The History Center is well on its way to doing just that.  As a matter of fact, these two gifts have created a momentum for the campaign that is extremely high-paced.

So, where does this put the campaign?  All combined, including the numbers above, The History Center raised 71% of its goal.  Many individuals, companies and foundations have given very generously to get this far.  We hope to complete the campaign by December of this year, so that the Douglas Mansion can celebrate its grand opening in early autumn 2018.

To get this done, we certainly need your support.  If you are interested in being a part of this exciting project, please contact Jason Wright, Executive Director at or 319-362-1501 x7102.