Two Parke County projects receive grant funding

Apr. 23—Several Indiana communities and organizations will receive grants from the Wabash River Heritage Corridor Fund to assist with historical and cultural projects, including Parke County.

The grant funds are administered by the Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology with input from the Wabash River Heritage Corridor Commission. The $600,000 of total funding comes from royalties on oil extracted near the Wabash River in southern Indiana.

Two Parke County sites will receive funding.

The Parke County Commissioners will receive $100,000 to rehabilitate the Melcher Covered Bridge near the town of Montezuma. This structure is one of 31 remaining covered bridges in Parke County. It was closed in 2023 due to failure of the west abutment and subsequent damage to some of the bridge's structural members. Completion of this project will protect the bridge and should allow it to be reopened.

The Parke County Historical Society will receive $20,511 to assist with rehabilitation of the County Historical Museum, which was built as a seminary in 1839 and has had various uses over time.

Grant funding will enable repairs that will keep water out of the building, including new roofing and gutters, repair and repointing of exterior brick walls, and repair of deteriorated windows and wood trim. These efforts will help protect the museum and its artifacts.