After a long cold winter, changes are coming to our little historic Pump House on Janesville Street in the heart of downtown Oregon. It’s been 33 years (1981) since the Pump House was actually functioning. In June, you’ll start to see the ground around the Pump House begin to change in anticipation of new landscaping. New perennials and shrubs will grace the yard around the Pump House. New edging will outline the new perennials beds, along with a small new bench. To make this space outside of the building even more special, we are exploring the possibility of creating a brick walk- way from the sidewalk to the front door. Engraved bricks will be available as a fundraiser.
What will the newly restored Pump House be used for? It’s a very good question. Several ideas have been proposed over the years, the most suggested use has been as a Visitor’s Center. At the recent Mason’s fundraiser, we asked people if they felt the Pump House would make a good Village Visitor’s Center, or are there other suggested uses. It was unanimous; they could see it used as a Visitor’s Center. Since then, to be inclusive of Village visitors, as well as community residents, we are starting to use the term Welcome Center. This would be a new community space; it should be available to everyone. How does the title “Pump House Welcome Center” sound? The newly restored building would be ready to welcome visitors as well as Oregon residents, who would be able to use the Pump House for their community events. Some examples might be a small historical exhibit about the Pump House or downtown, a display of artwork or special projects by Oregon school kids, or local seniors. With the area bike trails being expanded, Oregon is seeing more and more bikers, and the Welcome Center could have bike maps. Historical walking tours of downtown could begin at the Welcome Center. Local Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops could sell popcorn or cookies at the Welcome Center. There could be plant sales or small art fairs at the Center. The Pump House has 2 rooms, community meetings could be help in the back room of the building.
So, as the weather begins to warm, watch for the new changes to our Historic Pump House.
If you want to donate to project, please send your tax deductible donations to: Preserve the Water Tower Fund, 117 Spring Street, Oregon, WI 53575