Work is underway to rehab three historic buildings in the tiny Wabash County town of Lagro. The Lagro Canal Foundation has acquired the Citizens Bank, Masonic Lodge and Improved Order of the Red Man Lodge in hopes of redeveloping them for residential and commercial use.
Indiana Landmarks has been working with the foundation on the effort, conducting building inspections and giving advice on listing the properties in the National Register of Historic Places. The organization says it could help further through a Partners in Preservation grant, which helps pay for National Register nominations.
Citizens Bank dates back to 1913, the Masonic Lodge to 1853 and the Improved Order of the Red Man Lodge to 1840. If they obtain National Register status, the rehabilitation project would qualify for grants and historic preservation tax credits.
Lagro was founded in 1834 and sits between the cities of Huntington and Wabash. The town’s population peaked at 750 in the 1960s, but has shrunk to nearly half that number today. The Lagro Canal Foundation says the rehabilitation projects could play a key role in the town’s rehabilitation.