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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Poland Historical Chapel gets a face-lift

Friday, March 31, 2006

Top photo: The old Poland Historical Chapel sign that has stood for many years has been removed and will be on display at the Wasatch Lake Resort lodge in Owen County.

Second down: Jimmy Teskey, 17, only the second Boy Scout from Troop 202 of Carmel, Ind. to reach the Eagle Scout level, decided to landscape the Poland Historical Chapel as his Eagle Scout Service Project. In his efforts, Jimmy was able to obtain a new custom-made sign donated for the chapel.

Middle photo: Jimmy Teskey puts some finishing touches in the landscaped area outside of the Poland Historical Chapel. He was able to collect enough donations from businesses around Carmel, Ind. to replace the sign, plant bushes, flower bulbs and enough mulch to cover all of the areas he, fellow boy scouts and family members landscaped Sunday, March 19.

Second to bottom: One area that the President of Poland Historical Society Carolyn Thomas and her husband, Dave, were proud of was the National Historical Register plaque noting the cemetery and chapel were placed on the list Dec. 18, 1990. A pine tree was planted in memory of Jimmy Spellbring and three Maples trees were planted in memory of Roxie Rentschler, two long-time Poland Historical Chapel supporters.

Bottom photo: Family members, fellow troop members and scout leaders donated their time to help Jimmy Teskey complete his Eagle Scout Service Project of landscaping of the Poland Historical Society.

An Eagle Scout Service Project to landscape a Clay County chapel will help a 17-year-old young man from Carmel, Ind. reach his goal of the one of the highest ranks in Boy Scouts.

After about nine years of Boy Scout honor, Jimmy Teskey, son of Jim and Florence Teskey, decided to renovate the landscaping of the Poland Historical Chapel for his Eagle Scout Service Project. The chapel is just over 75 miles away from his home.

Teskey still has to finish his report, but after approval by the Eagle Review Board, he will be one of two Eagle Scouts in Boy Scout Troop 202 of Carmel, sponsored by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. The troop was started in 2002.

Teskey was able to obtain 100 percent donations from about four different businesses that provided the materials for the project.

The Carmel High School junior also set the date for March 19 and organized approximately 30 people (almost all members of his troop, scout leaders and family members) to donate the labor.

Teskey's plans included the donation of a new, custom-made sign for the chapel, featuring many of the same details as the old sign. The old sign was given to Wasatch Lake Resort lodge in Owen County, which has a collection of historic items from the area.

Other items donated to the project included flower bulbs, shrubbery, concrete, bricks and enough mulch to cover everything the laborers were able to bury.

"Jimmy has worked very hard to pull together the project and to get all the contacts in Carmel. He is a strong leader for the troop," said Assistant Scout Master Tom Morris, Teskey's mentor for the project.

"He has done a great job of completing his objective and demonstrating the scout motto by living his life according to the principles of scouting, the scout oath and scout law," he said.

Chairman of the "Life to Eagle" committee Perry Hines said, "A big part of Boy Scouts is community and we have expanded our community from Carmel to Poland."

Carolyn Thomas, president of the Poland Historical Society and her husband, Dave, were most proud of the landscaping the troop did around the National Historical Register plaque. Shrubs and bulbs were planted around the plaque. A pine tree was planted in memory of Jimmy Spellbring along with three Maple trees in memory of Roxie Rentschler, long-time Poland Historical Chapel supporters.

Shortly after Teskey notified Carolyn about his project, she was informed by the Clay County Community Foundation that the chapel was selected to receive a $5,300 grant. The grant will be used to re-paint the exterior of the chapel and remove a tree that could potentially harm the building's structure.

"I couldn't have been more excited if we would have won the lottery," said Carolyn Thomas.

The Poland Historical Chapel was built in 1869, Thomas said. The church was used as a Presbyterian Church through 1927, but was abandoned after that. Later, a group of local women decided to raise the money needed restore the church.

On Dec. 18, 1990, the chapel and nearby cemetery were placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

As a stipulation, the chapel can no longer serve a congregation to stay on the register. The church is open to the public daily beginning Easter weekend. The chapel is closed during the winter months.

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