Small Town News


Clarification: Former NW building to remain

Freeman Courier of Freeman, South Dakota

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While new property owner Rick Lee plans to develop the two lots on the 300 block of Main Street just north of The Vintage Vault, which was reported in last week's Courier, there are no plans to remove the building that previously served as Northwestern Energy and Laber's Meat Market before that.

Instead, plans are to renovate that building — which is the oldest in Freeman — sometime in 2016 based on the direction that comes out of community feedback.

"We want to maintain this historical landmark," said Colleen Schuitz-Herman, who was married to Lee for 15 years and today works with him as both an advisor and a developer. "That's why we want to do the focus groups and get the community input; then we can do what we feel we need to do."

Schuitz-Herman, who returned to her hometown last September after marrying Rick Herman, said plans are, however, to demolish the building behind the Main Street structure, which served as the old meat cooler for Laber.

"That will come down next spring," she says.

Schuitz-Herman said it matters "a great deal" that the Main Street building Lee recently purchased is of historical significance, especially given the recent removal of the Schamber Building one block to the north.

"You bet it matters, both because of what happened (to the Schamber Building) and for my own reasons, "i started my life here. It doesn't matter that I was gone for decades; whenever someone asked me where I was from, I always said. 'Freeman, South Dakota.'

"This place has always been my home."

Schuitz-Herman said they hope to have the fence in the empty lot just north of The Vintage Vault removed in time for a series of Hometown Christmas retail events that begin Friday, Nov. 27. Work on the rest of the property isn't expected to begin until next spring.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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