Contact: Ron or Carolyn Kirts at 618-455-3153.
The Foundation House is available for
special events: meetings, parties, weddings, etc.
Also, the Foundation House can be used by former residents, families, or friends while visiting Sainte Marie.
As a charitable organization, the Foundation wants former residents to maintain contact with Sainte Marie and make the Foundation House their "home away from home."
For more informatioin or to book the Foundation House contact: Ron or Carolyn Kirts at 618-455-3153.
In May, 2008, Don Albers, owner of the DCA Construction Company, Breese, IL, gave the Harley and Lena Kirts House to the Sainte Marie Foundation, with the condition that the construction company could use the residence for its workers until the end of 2013, whenever they had a job in the area. The Foundation embarked on renovating the deteriorating house. On the outside, the repairs included replacing and shoring up of foundation blocks; removing two chimneys that were wicking water to the inside of the house; replacing the front porch floor and columns; removing and repairing rotted fascia; painting; caulking; scraping; and generally making the house's outside beautiful again. Anyone who has visited the house knows what a success the exterior improvements and renovations have been.
At the same time, volunteers moved inside to clean, remove layers of wallpaper, refinish old woodwork, paint, and do tasks that did not require professional expertise. To replace ceiling and other plaster, the Foundation hired local professionals. Gradually, the house began to look livable once again.
The Foundation intends to use the house as a museum and as a place where former residents, their families and friends can stay while visiting Sainte Marie. Since the Foundation is a charitable organization, it does not charge for the use of the house by Sainte Marie-related visitors. Instead, the Foundation relies on donations to meet expenses.
As an example of the educational use of the house, Foundation leaders saved a portion of wall - and an old chimney - to show people how old houses were constructed with handmade brick and mortar, lath and plaster, sometimes mixed with horsehair to make it sturdy. The area also shows how the old plaster was buckled and crumbling - something that workers encountered in almost every room of the house.
The Foundation House is a gift to the Sainte Marie community and to all those who wish to maintain ties to their hometown. The museum will keep the history of Sainte Marie alive for future generation.
SAINTE MARIE FOUNDATION