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LeDuc Estate updates electricity, will also receive new roof

The outdoor building near the chicken coop was installed with lights and outlets. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)1 / 2
The chicken coop was also installed with a light.2 / 2

The LeDuc Historic Estate has recently received some updates to two of the outdoor buildings and will soon receive some significant repairs.

The chicken coop and Simmons Shed recently had lights and outlets installed. The electrification was a nominal expenditure, but the update was a big deal for the LeDuc Estate, said site manager Amy Deaver.

"Now we have a space that we can actually use throughout the year and it just makes it a lot easier," Deaver said.

Before the update in the Simmons Shed, it was difficult to utilize the space. The LeDuc Estate would use the space for their Harvest Haunting event on an October evening. It would already be dark and they would have to use candles in order to see, Deaver said. The new lights will make that event a lot easier.

The light in the chicken coop and outside the shed was also a safety issue, Deaver said. The chicken caretakers would walk out to take care of the chickens in the dark. Deaver said that some of them would be using only the flashlight on their cell phones. She said that, if she's completely honest, it can sometimes be a little spooky at night. The new lights will make it a lot safer, she said.

The LeDuc will also get a new roof before the snow falls in November, Deaver said. Justin Fortney, Hastings' city planner, said the house exterior wood repairs, including brackets and finials, is estimated to cost $2,700. The roofing and flashing replacement is estimated at $228,000. Nearly half the expenses will be covered by a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant from the Minnesota Historical Society, and the remainder of the expenses will come from the Carroll Simmons endowment trust fund.

A specific construction date has not been set, but Deaver said that she is not concerned about the construction interfering with day-to-day operations. From her point of view, Deaver said, even if they are giving tours in the middle of construction, they can just tell the story about the history of the roof.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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