03/29/2018 View from the River, Michel Northsea

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Psst, we need to talk

By Michel Northsea

I’m sorry to interrupt your day and bug you about this matter.

But it is important, sort of a life or death type matter. We’ve got bugs. Yeah, I know this is Florida and there bugs of all types: creepin’, crawlin’ and slippin’ around in all kinds of places without any invitations.

They were not invited to our place either. However, there is evidence, that irrefutable type, we have termites. Some in that corner, others over there near the bathroom, a batch by the door and others near the back door.

All of this just as we should be celebrating our 110th birthday with a big old birthday cake, ice cream and silly party hats. The termites have infested our Historic Train Depot and we have to blow the whistle on them. The reality is no matter how loud the whistle sounds, it isn’t going to stop their attack on our old beloved building. The attack can be stopped with a huge tent going over the Depot and additional upkeep required throughout the upcoming years. That tent comes with a pricey price tag as you might imagine.

Pricier than what we have in our coffers. The price is so high that they turn our resident ghosts a shade paler than they naturally are. Bottom line, we figure we need about $10,000 to take care of the initial problem, and we’re knocking on wood we don’t have to rebuild the floor. The $10,000 will also put some money in the bank for the required follow-up maintenance.

Your help is needed.

We, the Greater Dunnellon Historical Society – owners of the Depot and those uninvited termites - will host a Founder’s Day Dinner on April 10 leading into Boomtown Days. Tickets are $15 and include not only a meal, but entertainment from a few of our friends posing as Dunnellon’s “Founding Fathers.” Tickets will be available in the mornings at the Riverland News office after April 1, no joke, and at the Chamber of Commerce office.

On Tuesdays and the first Saturday monthly, we open up our Dunnellon Museum, inside the Depot for visitors to get a glimpse of days gone by. Oftentimes, there are some of our long-time Dunnellon residents there to answer questions and tell stories of yesterday. Visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and as you may expect, there is a donation jar on the counter.

For those who would rather donate via electronic ways, click on the donation button at dunnellondepot.com webpage and go from there. The webpage also offers a quick overview of the history associated with the Depot and there is a photo gallery to browse, too.

The Greater Dunnellon Historical Society formed in 1991 to save the Depot from an uncertain future after CSX Transportation decided to sell the property. The building became ours in 1992. Ten years later, a grant helped us restore the building.

Since then, our murder mystery dinners, small events throughout the year, memberships and rentals have paid the bills.

But this problem is bigger than us. Thankfully, we have a donor who has agreed to match the donations, dollar-for-dollar, we receive to help stop those termites.

The race is on and we need to win – we want to celebrate many more birthdays.

Michel Rhodes Northsea is long-time resident of Dunnellon, serves as vice president for the historical society and daylights as the office queen at the Riverland News.