CENTRAL CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Two men in Central City own a piece of history. With a property tax moratorium from the South Dakota State Historical Society and help from Deadwood Historic Preservation they are working to restore the building to its former glory.
St. Lawrence O'Toole Catholic Church, built in 1879, has no utilities, the pews are gone, and birds were nesting inside. When it was purchased in 2007 the plan was to demolish the building and construct a shared garage since the owners live on either side of the church, but they were in for a surprise when they went to the Deadwood Historical Society for information.
"She said it is on a National Historical Registry, don't add to or take away from that building. And we went, 'whoah,'" says Rocky Mattson, one of the owners of the church.
Last year they started to fix the foundation to stop it from leaning and they replaced the roof. The grants can't be given to an individual so the town of Central City accepts them for the church. They plan to apply for more grants so they can afford repairs to the windows and doors.
"To keep the integrity of the building and keep it looking the way it did in 1889 is pretty phenomenal and we'll be able to get it back to there, just takes a little time," says Mattson.
The grants can only be used for the exterior of the building so they need to work on a plan for the interior. As of now they aren't sure what they will do with the church after it is restored.