The St. James Opera House Restoration Project was awarded a matching grant of $8,000 by the governing board of the Minnesota Historical?Society on behalf of the Minnesota State Legislature. The Historic Preservation Department of the Minnesota Historical Society administers the grant program. The program assists county and local historical organizations that interpret and preserve Minnesota’s history.


    The St. James Opera House Restoration Project was awarded a matching grant of $8,000 by the governing board of the Minnesota Historical?Society on behalf of the Minnesota State Legislature. The Historic Preservation Department of the Minnesota Historical Society administers the grant program. The program assists county and local historical organizations that interpret and preserve Minnesota’s history.
    The purpose of the grant is to assist the St. James Opera House Restoration Project with restoring the facade of the St. James Opera House, which has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historical Places.?St. James Opera House Restoration Project will be proud to serve the public through this grant, and encourages everyone to watch for progress in the coming months. Since this grant requires that every dollar be matched by at least one local dollar, they will gladly accept gifts from those who wish to help match this grant.
    Since 1969 the State of Minnesota has appropriated funds to encourage historical organizations in achieving best practices, and for the preservation, restoration and stabilization of irreplaceable, historically significant building that are open to the public.
    “We have worked with the Minnesota Historical?Society before,” said Tim Mattison of Wilcon Construction Company. “We will take restoration projects like the Opera House.”
    Wilcon is currently doing what is called “Tuck-Pointing” on the west side and front half of the Opera House. “Tuck-Pointing is where we grind the old mortar from in between the bricks, replace damaged bricks, clean and refill the joints with fresh mortar,” said Mattison. “We will be replacing the lime stone band section of the wall - that will be about three weeks out before the new lime arrives.”
    Assisting with the project are Dilly Rodney and Greg Bent who are employed by Wilcon. Rodney and Bent live in Mt. Lake. (The information regarding the grant money was submitted by Anne Sorenson and the information and pictures about “Tuck-Pointing” were provided by?Wayne Fritzinger in an interview with Tim Mattison