The Community of Pine River and the Town of Leon are coming together to remedy a longtime eyesore in Pine River. Anyone who has driven through Pine River has come to know the old house next to the library. Years have broken it down, with trees even growing up through it! The one-time stagecoach inn next door to the Leon Saxeville Library has been deteriorating since being abandoned several years ago.
Recently, the Town of Leon acquired the property from the County and is working together with community members to raise funds for demolition of the building and to transform the area into a community park and green space.
The original fundraising plans were to be in conjunction with the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Pine River Library with various events during the course of 2020. The events were to culminate in a community-wide Fall Festival including a pig roast, festival events, and a community dance at the Golden Nugget. Along with the Library; the Pine River Restoration Association, Pine River Rainbows 4-H Club, and the Pine River Homemakers were to participate in the events.
Unfortunately, the celebration of the Library’s 60th and the fundraising activities have been put on hold. Becky Horvath, chair of the planning committee expressed her disappointment,” It was great that we could bring the community together to both celebrate the 60th and contribute to the reclamation and safety of the eyesore next door.” she said. “The virus [Covid 19] had other ideas, so our plan now is to celebrate the 61st anniversary next year.”
In the meantime, the building demolition plan must carry on. The committee is initiating fundraising through the “Pine River Beautification Library Enhancement Fund”. Craig Zimmer, a library board trustee, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, “This will enhance public safety and bring the public a beautiful area for library programs and community use. The children and residents can enjoy [the space] for generations to come.”
In addition to the razing of the house, and planting of grass and a few trees, the vision for the future may include a gazebo, benches, and even a playground area. For now, the committee is focused on raising funds to bring down the house and address the required attention to the well and septic to make the property safely accessible. We need your help!
Chris Sorenson, Leon’s Township Chairman, hopes the demolition can be completed before winter sets in.
“It’s been a long process to get to this point,” he said, “things are falling into place to improve the property for safety and the beautification of the community.”
It is estimated the initial expense will run between $15,000 – $20,000. Anyone interested in helping with this vision may make a tax-deductible contribution to the Town of Leon with a notation designating the Pine River Beautification Fund on the check and mail it to Pine River Library of Leon and Saxeville, PO Box 247, Pine River, WI 54695 or visit Go Fund Me