Historic structure in Elbert will get new roof

Russell Gates Mercantile Co. building is icon in community

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For several years, the Elbert Woman’s Club has worked to raise funds for much-needed roofing repairs for the Russell Gates Mercantile Co. building, a centerpiece in the Town of Elbert.
 
Previously, the Elbert Woman’s Club has held several fundraisers to raise money for the building. They’ve also raised money through sales at the yearly Christmas Bazaar, their monthly bingo nights and breakfasts, and plant sales. Through their fundraising efforts, the club has raised the $9,000 for the restoration.
 
The project will begin just after Labor Day, with the reconstruction carried out by Trinity Construction Services. Based in Centennial, the company is fully woman-owned, a characteristic that was quite appealing to the women of the Elbert Woman’s Club. Other companies have made donations of materials to the construction. The foreman is also overseeing the project pro bono.
 
“We’re so excited that the Mercantile building is finally getting the renovations it needs,” said Elbert Woman’s Club treasurer Wendy Walp in a phone interview from Aug. 30. “Having a restored roof will be great for safety and preservation of the interior. We can hopefully continue to have wonderful community events for decades to come.”
 
Built in 1906, the Russell Gates Mercantile Co. building is a cultural focal point for the people of Elbert, serving as a gathering place for locals for over a century. In addition to holding Elbert Woman’s Club events, the building currently provides a meeting space for the Boy Scouts and local 4-H clubs.
 
It provides a space for receptions, birthdays, anniversary parties, proms, family gatherings and school and community fundraisers. The building allows the East Central Council of Local Governments (ECCOG) to use the kitchen to cook meals for local seniors twice a week. Many local funerals are also held at the hall, all of which are held at no charge.
 
Local Elbert residents have also stepped up to help fund the project. Eleven-year-old Ella Mae Derge raised $200 for the cause at a bake sale during the Kelly Airpark Annual Meeting on May 14. Ella Mae baked cookies, muffin tops, scones and coffee cake.
 
“I have helped the Elbert Woman’s Club in the past with making jams, serving breakfasts, and helping at the bazaar,” said Ella Mae in an interview from Aug. 29. “My mom is a member of the club and I know how hard the ladies work to keep the Mercantile running. I know it needs a new roof, so I wanted to help get it.”
 
Niccole Parenti, a member of the club, shared her thoughts about Ella Mae’s efforts in an email correspondence from Aug. 27. “She is such a wonderful, thoughtful kid,” said Parenti. “Her parents teaching her about community service at such a young age is so valuable. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do as an adult.”
 
For more information about Russell Gates Mercantile Co. Building and the Elbert Woman’s Club, please visit elbertwomansclub.com/about-3.
Russell Gates Mercantile Co., Elbert, roof, Elbert Woman's Club, Colorado

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