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Rincon may deliver old post office to HES
post office 1
The restored old Rincon Post Office could be headed to the Living History Site in the near future. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

The Historic Effingham Society’s Living History Site could be getting a piece of Rincon to display soon.

Rincon City Council members have agreed to donate as much as $1,000 to the cost of moving the old Rincon Post Office to the Living History Site. The old, wooden post office, which was restored several years ago, currently sits near the Rincon library branch.

“You have a gem here,” Tom Hodgson of the Historic Effingham Society told Rincon City Council members. “This would add to our effort to preserve buildings we’re losing at a rapid rate.”

Hodgson added the organization wants to reach out more to the community and find out what is out there that the HES can preserve.

Rincon City Council members also asked how long the old post office building would remain at the Living History Site in Springfield.

“We do have some 99-year leases,” said Richard Loper of the HES.

Loper said the organization is proud to have the old Blandford rail depot, which was donated to the HES, and had the rail siding put in.

Hodgson said the HES looked for an appropriate one-room school house to put on the property before building a replica. The Living History Site and the museum are popular tourist attractions, he said.

“We get people from all over the United States and the world there,” he said.

Council member Paul Wendelken offered the hope that being at the Living History Site will mean more visitors to the old Rincon Post Office.

“We wanted to keep it here. But it’s best use is up there,” he said.

City council members also approved the rezoning of nearly 92 acres off Highway 21 from the county’s I-1 industrial zoning to the city’s limited industrial zoning. But the tract, recently annexed into the city, also contains the only access to the Effingham Habitat for Humanity.

“We are concerned we may lose convenient access to our facility,” said Habitat for Humanity executive director Jimmy Rutland. “None of the previous owners have been willing to sell to us or grant us an easement because that is the only access to that tract.”

Rutland said the side of the driveway is the property boundary, and the organization cannot go back toward the center of Rincon for access because of the adjacent church.

“We need an additional piece out to the side because that is where everyone parks,” he said.

Chance Raehn, representing Chesterfield LLC, said there have been preliminary discussions with the state Department of Transportation on access. Raehn the group is willing to provide access and put in access to its outparcels.

“Our plan is to provide access back to the access road,” he said.

Any access could not be moved down the curve in the road because of potential vision issues for motorists. Raehn said the group is willing to sit down with Habitat representatives when they are ready to design the access.

“We don’t have a plan yet,” he said. “We don’t have a project yet.”