researching a historical little town
June 20, 2014

After growing up in Arnold and returning the past two summers to work on the cemetery project, I thought I knew a lot about the history of the small community. This summer, I am researching a few of the historic buildings of Arnold and submitting a Historic Resources Inventory Form to the State Historic Preservation Office so that the buildings can have the chance to be listed on the registry. Once listed on the registry, the buildings are eligible for tax benefits and can receive grant money from other sources if it is wanted. The project was originally imagined to help find grant money to make one of the buildings into a youth center, and I hope that that goal will be achieved in the years to come.

I have learned so much just from the research that I have completed during the first third of my internship.  A lot of the names that I recognize from my cemetery project now have faces to them, and I understand their significance to the history and making of Arnold. The first building I have been working on has been the Finch Memorial Library. The Finch family was the first recorded settlers to the area. Sarah Finch, in memory of her husband Ephraim S. Finch, willed $17,000 to the village for a library to be built. The library is still basically in its original condition, so it is amazing to see the historic photos and compare them to today’s building. The Finch family was involved in many of the major events that happened as Arnold was built from the ground up, and it is amazing to learn about them and the other first settlers of the area.

The Finch Memorial Library from an angle.
The Finch Memorial Library from an angle.

This project is really interesting to me because I’m able to learn about the community as well as learn about architecture. Most of the application involves documenting the building itself, which includes what kind of porch it has, what the roof is made out of, what kind of structural support it has, as well as many, many other details. Part of the process is drawing the floor plans and site map, which has been a lot of fun this week. I’ve always loved the building process, blueprints, and architecture partly because my dad works in construction, and I’m so excited to be able to use those interests this summer.

The entrance to the Finch Memorial Library, as I worked on the site plan.
The entrance to the Finch Memorial Library, as I worked on the site plan.