Preservation of DeKalb Heritage

P.O. Box 6035
Auburn, IN 46706
President, Jan Swaters (260) 337-5706

Betty Blomeke (260) 925-0833, email:


President, Jan Swaters
Vice-President, Roxanne Fike
Secretary and Fund-Raising Chair, Judy Knapp
Treasurer, Betty Lou Stomm
Historian and Publicity Chair, Betty Blomeke

The Preservation of DeKalb Heritage (PDH) is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving historical sites, buildings, and artifacts relative to county history. 

The group was formed in 1991 as a response to the attempt to tear down the old DeKalb County Jail.  Since the formation of PDH we have helped save the Capen Apartments, now known as the Gerig House of Hope that serves as home to Operation Shelter.

PDH brought historic architects from Indianapolis to evaluate the structure when the city of Auburn condemned the building after a fire.  It was PDH's suggestion to Mr. Gerig to donate the building to the shelter. PDH has had consultants involved with the Eckhart Public Library expansion, the Eckhart Park Pillars, the restoration of the Butler Opera House, the repair and restoration of the Waterloo Mausoleum and the Sacred Heart Hospital in Garrett.

The most recent accomplishment of PDH is the reconstruction of the Madden Arches at the Heimach Center.  After five years of working on this project, the Arches were dedicated in May 1997.  PDH raised over $28,000 to complete this project and set up a maintenance fund. 

In addition to assistance and education, our responsibilities to this community include funding for projects.  Along with paying consulting fees, we have contributed to the following reconstruction projects: Eckhart Public Library, the Garrett Public Library, the Waterloo Mausoleum, and the Gerig House of Hope. The overall purpose of the organization and the meetings is to preserve historic buildings and artifacts in DeKalb County. PDH members are affiliate members of the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. If you have a historic item and need help in preserving, researching, and restoring, please submit a written request to:

Preservation of DeKalb Heritage
P.O. Box 6035
Auburn, IN 46706

This request will be presented for discussion and review at the next scheduled meeting.  PDH meets monthly the second Monday of the month.  They meet in the closed meeting room of the Eckhart Public Library, 603 South Jackson Street, Auburn. A business meeting is held from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., and from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. a program is presented that includes a guest speaker. The public is invited to attend.

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