Rebuilding, one brick at a time

Tim Schroll and his wife Dev don't have your typical backyard.

The couple bought The Moses King Brick and Tile Works property in 1990 and have been renovating it ever since.

Recently the preservation organization, Landmark Illinois granted The Brickyard a matching grant, but getting the money isn't that easy.

"So what happens then is we have a specific amount of time to match the money to come up with the other $1,500," Schroll said. "Then they'll give us their $1,500."

If funds are raised, the money will go to restructuring the roof on one of The Brickyard's kilns, which was estimated to cost $8,000.

"That involves re-foaming it, making it total water tight, the foam roof that we had put on is about 18-years-old and it's starting to deteriorate," Schroll said.

The Brickyard dates back to 1881 and is McDonough County's only national historic district. It houses four beehive kilns, that were used to make bricks. The property also has the original home of the owner, Moses King ... and Schroll and his wife now live in it.

"We feel it is historically and culturally significant to McDonough County and to the state," Schroll said. "We think this could be a boom in historic tourism which is very very big."

But making the Brickyard a tourist attraction isn't Schroll's only goal.

"We could bring people out here for conferences, retreats, meetings, organizations inside this kiln and then enjoy the ten acres of Moses King National Historic District," Schroll said.

And the grant money is a start to making that goal a reality.

"Right now it's just one step at a time," Schroll said. "We've been at this for 20 years, this is just another step in the process we're not about to give up."

if you're interested in donating to The Brickyard, click here.