WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published July 17, 2010, 09:15 PM

Saving a Piece of History

It's 122 years old. Now people near Lankin, North Dakota are working to get the Bechyne Heritage Hall recognized by the North Dakota Historical Society.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ

"Many of us in this community, we grew up in this place," Michael Hodny said.

The Bechyne Heritage Hall is located across the road from Saint Peter and Paul Church and was built in 1888 by the Hodny's great-grandfather.

"My family came from Czechoslovakia and they came from Bechyne, the town that's over there," Michael Hodny said.

The community is working to restore the hall so it can be recognized with the North Dakota Historical Society.

"We need to redo a couple of the floors and probably put in some new, modern bathrooms. We don't have modern bathrooms now because it's an old building," Jerry Hodny Jr. said.

The hall's original square front has been re-built, new windows have been installed, and updates to the kitchen and roof are still needed.

"We can get it on the national registry. Get it back to where, well, where it was originally," Jerry Hodny Jr. said.

But, all the restoration projects are adding up financially and grants aren't covering the cost.

"It could go anywhere from, I suppose, $25,000 to $125,000. You know it all depends on the materials," said Jerry Hodny Jr.

Now fundraisers are being planned to help raise the money so more people can use Bechyne Heritage Hall for weddings, dances, and get-togethers.

"Over the last few years it's kind of drifted off and not been used. And we'd just like to update the hall, get it back- put it back on the circuit again, get some stuff going on out here," Michael Hodny said.

Donations are being accepted and another fundraiser is planned for this fall. You can send donations to:

Phyllis Kadlec

11850 63rd Street NE

Lankin, ND