WYOMING, Iowa - A lot has changed in the 7 months since smoke billowed through the halls of the Wyoming Historical Museum on July 21st, 2013.
"We've had a complete 3-story wall built there and insulated, we've had roof repairs done, we've had basement repairs done, we've had the entire building cleaned out, wiped down," said Jim Eichhorn with the Wyoming Historical Society Commission, listing repairs and renovations.
Eichhorn said walls were repainted, and hundreds of priceless antiques and artifacts have been professionally cleaned, but most of them are still individually wrapped and tucked in boxes.
"Right now, we have approximately 700 boxes to unwrap, and our big project right now is cataloging all of those and then getting a record made of them," Eichhorn said. "We've got about 35 done."
One room had hundreds of bottles and jars on display, and they all need to be put back on shelves. It's a lot of work that came with a hefty price tag, according to Eicchorn. "Our insurance bill came in at just over $500,000."
But all of the cleaning and restoration done by L.J. Roth out of Olds, Iowa seems to have been worth it. As we walked through the building, there wasn't even a hint of the smokiness and soot that hung so heavily in the air, in the days following the fire.
"We had one room where the plaster was taken down, we had several ceilings taken down....all the old insulation and fiberglass was removed, all the rafter studs were wiped down."
Eichhorn hopes the public can once again enjoy this trove of historic treasures sometime this spring.
"We figure probably 3 months of good hard work in here, and we'll get started at it."