White glazed brick above MacDonald Insurance
White glazed brick above MacDonald Insurance

Like with any improvement project, sometimes you find things that you weren’t expecting and find preserved older features of a building.

That’s exactly what has happened in the beginning stages of the $1 million Community Development Block Grant downtown revitalization project in Jefferson. One unique find was white glazed brick and design inlaid on the second story of MacDonald Insurance on the north side of the downtown square. Jefferson Matters: Main Street Program Director Peg Raney says they knew about the architecture, but were still surprised.

“Our architect used a scope and went back under the Swiss chalet covering. So he kind of knew a little bit, but we didn’t know the condition of the brick and the porcelain on the brick. This was a really cool exterior appeal to everyone.”

Olson Clothing sign above Fudge's Flowers
Olson Clothing sign above Fudge’s Flowers

Even underneath the awning of Fudge’s Flowers and Gifts, a 1960’s “Olson’s Clothing” sign was unveiled of a business that was located there before Fudge’s. Owner Bonnie Silbaugh says the sign has generated a lot of stories.

“Mainly it’s brought people in here telling me about when they were at Olson’s and that they got their little league shirts from Olson’s or their ballcaps. So a lot of stories. I’ve talked to a lot of family members and a lot of people interested in the sign. It’s an interesting piece to see. You just never know what they’re going to find with these buildings, so that was really cool.”

The project involves 13 buildings and is anticipated to be completed before the end of the year.