Scotch Grove residents discuss National Register

Posted November 21, 2012 at 9:28 am

By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

About 25 people showed up at Wayne Zion Lutheran Church on Saturday, Nov. 17, for a meeting to discuss Scotch Grove’s possible nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

Property owners, current and former business owners and past residents of Scotch Grove attended the meeting, sharing memories and reminiscing about their lives in the small town of Scotch Grove.

Led by Jennifer Price with Price Preservation Research, and the Jones County Historic Preservation Commission, people were given information on the facts in becoming an historic place and what is all involved.

The National Register does:

Identify historically significant buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts.

Encourage the preservation of historic properties by documenting the significance of historic properties and by lending support to local preservation activities.

Enable federal, state and local agencies to consider historic properties in the early stages of planning.

Make owners of historic properties eligible to apply for federal grants for preservation activities. Right now, for the State of Iowa, a lot of these grants are limited to surveying, nominating and planning projects, with limited funds available for the architectural plans.

Encourage the rehabilitation of income-producing historic properties, which meet preservation standards through tax incentives.

The National Register does not:

Restrict the rights of property owners in the use, development or sale of private historic properties.

Force federal, state, local or private projects to be stopped.

Guarantee that grant funds will be available for all significant historic properties.

Price was hired to help this group prepare the nomination form. She gave some information on what a nomination means for Scotch Grove. She said nothing is set in stone yet; property owners are not bound to any agreement.

Price said there are tax incentives under the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program. This program provides a federal income tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic buildings. The federal program provides up to 20 percent historic tax credit; Price said the state could offer up to 25 percent.

When all is said and done, if Scotch Grove was accepted to the National Register of Historic Places, Price said it would help preserve the character of the community, boost property values and revitalize Scotch Grove.

Those present helped to identify the historic landmarks, buildings, businesses and homes in Scotch Grove. Some of those named included: railroad buildings (the original depot), Scotch Grove Nursery, Balster’s stores and warehouses, Naylor Seed, the Scotch Grove cooperative creamery, the relocation of Highway 38 in 1937, Balster’s filling station, the Lange Bros. garage, Plueger’s tavern and garage, Fred Minney’s tavern and filling station, Bohlken’s garage, the Les Balster home, the Royden home and Willian Heinrich’s home.

There were a number of other properties that Price could not identify herself, but needs help identifying for the official nomination at that time.

The Jones County Historic Preservation Commission is planning to create a centralized electronic location for current and former Scotch Grove residents to collect and share photographs, documents and any information they may have on Scotch Grove. For more information on this project, contact Price by e-mail at or Rose Rohr with the Commission at