It was an exciting morning in Mt. Pleasant on Wednesday, as a special announcement regarding the Historical Harlan-Lincoln House brought many rounds of applause. The Harlan-Lincoln House is now a stand-alone Iowa non-profit corporation, Harlan-Lincoln House, Inc. It is an IRS 501[c](3) designated charity. Maintenance and operations will now become the responsibility of its Board of Directors, which consists of six members, 5 of which are from Mt. Pleasant.
This announcement comes after Iowa Wesleyan University transferred ownership of the house. Opportunities for financial support will once again be in “Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House.”
The mission of the nonprofit is to “preserve and promote the House and it’s contents, to share with the public this heritage site for its relevance to the James Harlan and Abraham Lincoln families, and to explain the significant impact of these prominent American families who offered vital leadership for the life of Iowa Wesleyan University, community of Mount Pleasant, state of Iowa, and our nation.”
149 years of resources help tell the stories of two famous families over the span of four generations. The House used to be owned by Iowa Wesleyan University and was donated in 1907 by Mrs. Lincoln. Now, history is preserved and the legacy lives on.
The walls tell stories of the United States from the Civil War and expansion West, to the Gilded Age. This is a vital piece of our heritage and culture and plays a significant role in remembering the past.
Lynn Ellsworth, one of the directors, spoke about the important change. She mentioned many people who have already shown interest in volunteering for this next chapter of history for the House. Over 20 potential volunteers will help as tour guides, giving guided tours throughout the Harlan-Lincoln House, as well as providing general upkeep. These aren’t just volunteers. They are community members who are committed to this town that they love, and are determined to never let their passion die.
A public re-opening event is planned for October 21 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
They look forward to open hours for tours in the near future. Make sure that you follow Harlan-Lincoln House on their Facebook page and their brand-new website harlan23.wixsite.com/hlhm for upcoming information.