Although their brother Mark Buchholz was unable to get off work, Steve E. Buchholz, Nancy Latham and Susan "Susie" Ankrom stopped by the Clay County Courthouse on Monday to present a $1,200 check to Clay County Commissioners Charlie Brown and Paul Sinders for the restoration of the cannons on the courthouse lawn.
The siblings want to help "kick off" the collection of donations for the restoration project in honor of their father, life-long Brazil resident Edwin Buchholz.
"We're a history loving family thanks to our father," Susie told The Brazil Times. "He was a real history buff that taught us to respect history. When we learned about this, we couldn't just let a piece of Brazil's history fade away without doing something."
While initial estimates to repair the wheels and undercarriages on the two civil war cannons on display at the courthouse was approximately $3,000, Brown said he's been able to locate an Amish craftsman in Marshall, Ind., who has quoted a price of $2,500 to refurbish both cannons.
Once dismantled and shipped to the shop in Marshall, Brown said it would take approximately three weeks to complete the repairs and treat the wood to withstand the weather and bugs.
"When completed, they will be able to stand the test of time. The metal cannons are fine, it's the wood frames that are the problem," Brown said. "It's not easy finding qualified craftsman to do these types of repairs. This is a lost art form because there just isn't a need for it anymore."
Brown's passion for the project stems from when he was a child.
"The cannons have been in front of the courthouse since I moved here from Alabama when I was a kid," he said. "It's very important to maintain our history for future generations. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who want to see the cannons preserved."
Commissioner Paul Sinders agreed.
"We're very grateful this donation and hope this is the beginning of more to come," he said. "It's very important these repairs be done because the cannons represent and serve as a reminder of the service and sacrifice of a lot of veterans who have previously served their country. We hope that individuals in Clay County will see the need for this and will be able to make a donation to support this worthwhile project."
"We just wanted to get the ball rolling as far as donations go," Susie said. "It would be a shame to let a piece of history just fade away."
For more information, to make a donation toward the restoration of the cannons, contact Commissioner Charlie Brown at 812-239-3920.
In honor of ...
Part of the cost of refurbishing the two cannons on the lawn at the Clay County Courthouse will be done in memory of life-long Brazil resident Edwin H. Buchholz:
Edwin H. Buchholz
Jan. 16, 1925 - June 23, 2008
After the war, Buchholz returned to Brazil to raise and share a "love of history" with his family.
Those wanting to donate money for the cannon restoration project can go to: First Financial Bank, 7995 N. State Road 59, Brazil, IN 47834. For more information, call 812-443-4481.