Historic Ringling Brothers Home in McGregor, Iowa Could Be Saved
Recently we reported on a fire that damaged much of a home in McGregor, Iowa that was once home to the family of the Ringling Brothers, the famed circus founders. It was reported that the home may have been a total loss but we've received an update from the homeowner, Connie Reinhardt.
The owner hopes to turn the home into a public museum
She is looking to build a new home as a residence next to the fire-damaged property but the good news is, it is not a total loss. In fact, she has been in touch with historical groups to save the property and eventually turn it into a museum dedicated to the Ringling Brothers.
We don't have much information on that aspect right now as, needless to say, Connie and her family are working to regroup and rebuild after their loss. She posted on Facebook the extent of the damage to the home. "Kitchen and porch are done for".
How can I help?
It appears they will be temporarily living in a borrowed camper or houseboat donated by owners of a local marina in McGregor and have been able to enter the house to clean or remove items. Reinhart is working with her insurance company who may not be able to cover the fire damage. But the damaged house, while not completely destroyed as previously reported, will no longer be their permanent residence.
There is a GoFundMe page to assist in the endeavor of building a new home and expenses incurred from her temporary displacement (including hotel stays).
In the meantime, we have reached out to Connie for other ways the public can be of help but have yet to receive a response. KWWL says Reinhardt along with city historical officials in McGregor, have been in touch with the State Historical Preservation Society of Iowa on the possibility of saving and preserving this home to expand its historic designation.
You can learn more about the damage the fire caused in our original story, posted here.