LEWIS – Members of the Hitchcock House Board are looking for donations.

According to a letter to friends and patrons of the Hitchcock House, a trench had to be dig on both sides of the house due to water issues. The house was built in 1856 by Rev. George Hitchcock, and had a secret room in the basement to hide runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. More on the history of the house can be found on the web site, hitchcockhouse.org.

The letter, written by Hitchcock House Board President Sharon Guffy-Lewis, said this past summer, water started leaking into the basement. Guffy-Lewis said in the letter that the board was concerned that the water could erode the limestone in the basement, which could cause the house to sink into the ground. They contacted an individual who had done tuckpointing on the house, who suggested and worked on digging the 3 foot wide wide by 6 foot deep trenches with a crew.

While Guffy-Lewis said that, “We feel (the problem has been fixed) and will last many years into the future (but) as is true in most repair projects, it turned out to be more involved then we thought.”

Final cost for the project was $13,400, and board members are asking for donations from the public to help replenish the fund that the money came from to pay for the project.

Donations can be mailed to 1609 Lomas Circle, Atlantic, Iowa 50022, and checks can be made to Hitchcock House.