The voters of Todd County narrowly approved a bonding referendum to rehabilitate the historic Todd County Courthouse, which was included in this year’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list. The local advocacy effort was led by members of the Todd County Historical Society. The preservation supporters launched a ground campaign consisting mostly of letters to the editors of the Todd County newspapers– the Long Prairie Leader, Staples World, Osakis Review, and Clarissa Independent News Herald. Letters of support were sought from township supervisors and century farmers, two often overlooked institutions in rural life who hold considerable sway over the “social norms” of a community.
While the vote was a close one—within 100 votes—several of the Todd County Commissioners have voiced support for preserving the courthouse. Grant funds, available through the National Trust for Historic Preservation and/or the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants, should be available and will hopefully give the Commissioners the political and financial cushion they need to proceed with this worthwhile project.
Congratulations to the citizens of Todd County!