Annual Report 2020

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At Historic Florissant, Inc. our focus is to protect, preserve and restore local history that affects those who live in, around or who care about Florissant, Missouri.  Like many of you, HFI has shown resiliency during these tough economic times. Due to the pandemic, significant changes were made in our fundraising efforts which led to revenue shortfalls.  Like all other non-profit organizations and businesses, this has been very disconcerting for us.  With your generous support we learned to work more creatively and thoughtfully.

Despite the challenges of 2020, we have adapted fundraising efforts in order to continue our services to the community.  The Annual Benefit Dinner and Annual Historic House Tour were canceled along with other events that typically bring in revenue.  A raffle for a beautiful holiday tablescape, private house tours for a limited number of participants with safety precautions in place, a socially distanced parking lot concert and Facebook fundraisers were ways of thinking outside the box.  Also, the Gettemeier family thoughtfully included Historic Florissant in memorial donations.  We were very thankful for our many supporters who sent monetary donations or who donated period furnishings for the Gittemeier House.

Although the Gittemeier House had to close for a period of time, we continued to serve others through research requests, genealogy searches, local history inquiries, and by providing products such as maps and books. Our work in preserving historic archives and local historic research also continued.

Thanks to our donors, Selective Insurance, and Copal Construction, a new cedar shake roof was added to the Gittemeier House in December of 2020.  Original stenciling was replicated and painted in the sitting room, fluorescent lighting was removed and replaced with more authentic lights and exterior lighting was restored. The parking lot was repaired and restriped and dead trees were removed.

Recently, Historic Florissant has partnered with the City of Florissant to restore the 1870 Wiese House located in St. Ferdinand Park.  Once a beautiful farmhouse built by Henry Bockrath, this 150 year old house is now in serious need of restoration before it is beyond repair.  The kindness of our Florissant community never ceases to amaze those of us working in non-profit.  Tradesmen of all types have come forward to volunteer time and expertise, local businesses have donated much needed items and now we are in hopes the generous people of our township will provide funding. Those wishing to donate to this project should indicate their donation be earmarked as such.

In the coming year, it is our goal to create a film documentary illustrating the history of Florissant.  This project is quite involved and includes partners from PBS, KMOV, local and state historic organizations, and the Florissant City Media Dept. There will be more information on this endeavor as time progresses.

Historic Florissant, Inc. collects no membership dues nor do we have paid employees.  All work is completed by volunteers and funding is provided by donors, fundraising events, and occasional grants. Your support is essential to our mission.

We know you care deeply about Florissant and understand our history is what makes us unique.  We thank you for helping to sustain us through a most difficult year.  We wish you the best in 2021 and look forward to partnering with you in the near future.