Jan. 13—Last summer, the Daughters of the American Revolution were told that they needed to replace two central air units and the furnace at the Scribner House at 110 E. Main St.
They ended up applying to grant programs to get the cost covered for the new appliances and sending out bids to companies that could get replacements for them.
While looking for a heating and air company to do the work to the house, DAR was directed to Frank Monroe Heating and Cooling.
“A lot of places are afraid to do work on the Scribner House because of the historic nature of it,” said Shelly Doss, DAR’s Piankeshaw Chapter Regent.
That is when Steve LaDuke, Frank Monroe Heating and Cooling owner, sent one of his technicians to the house to gather all the information needed to work on it.
LaDuke then started writing a proposal for the DAR and then got the idea to donate the equipment and installation to the house.
“I called them to ask questions, and they told me that they were going to try to get a grant to cover the cost of the HVAC systems,” LaDuke said. “As I worked up the proposal, I just started to think The Scribner House has been such a cornerstone for New Albany… I just got the idea, we’ve had some really good years, we should look at doing a donation.”
LaDuke said that the house serves a purpose of educating local children about the city and how the Scribners founded New Albany.
When LaDuke asked his partner about the donation, they were in agreement that it was a wonderful idea and started getting to work on getting the necessary supplies for the house. In total, Frank Monroe ended up donating about $26,000 to DAR.
“I could’ve fallen over,” Doss said. “All of us were like ‘Do we need to hurry up? Is this offer going to stay?'”
Doss was asking those questions because when someone wants to make a donation to DAR it has to go through their house committee, executive board and the chapter membership.
The whole process would take a few months for DAR and members were afraid of Frank Monroe backing out. LaDuke assured the chapter that they would not back out of the offer.
Once everything was approved, LaDuke got to work on the house on Tuesday.
“I was certainly worried because we do a lot of demo work and things like that when we’re doing these projects,” LaDuke said. “There’s a lot of irreplaceable things in this house. I told the guys to be sure and take care of the house.”
LaDuke wanted his crew to leave the house in better condition than it was before they arrived.
Doss said that with this donation, LaDuke and his company helped preserve the history of the house.
“It was the founder’s home and Joel Scribner was responsible for naming New Albany, he was in on drawing the streets, it was the first church and school,” Doss said. “So for them to do that… it’s just incredible.”