MOWIT volunteers help clean out historic Florissant house damaged by fire

HIGH FIVES – Missouri Women in Trades volunteers celebrate completing the clean out of the historic Reeb House in Florissant, Mo. MOWIT had scheduled two workdays for the cleanout, but volunteers were able to get the job done in one day. – MOWIT photo

Missouri Correspondent

Florissant, MO – Volunteers with Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT) recently held a workday in which they cleaned out the historic 1870 Reeb House here, which was extensively damaged by fire in February.

The effort was part of the MOWIT Workdays Program, in which the group partners with other 501(c)3 organizations to provide quality construction services for free. The program gives tradeswomen a chance to network and skill-up, and also is an opportunity for women in the public to get some tools in their hands in a safe and supportive environment.

On Nov. 4, members from MOWIT teamed up with the Carpenters’ Sisterhood in the Brotherhood Program to partner with Historic Florissant Inc. to clean the house out. MOWIT had scheduled two workdays for the cleanout, but volunteers were able to get the job done in one day.

“We are grateful to be a part of saving this home and at the same time giving women an experience in construction,” said former MOWIT President Beth Barton. “I want to thank our wonderful sponsors and partners for making this cleanup day possible. Together, we are helping women get great jobs, and saving a beautiful historic building. Win-win!”

The Reeb House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the last remaining 19th century French-style homes in the area. The home, located at 446 Rue Saint Charles St., was built by Antoine Reeb, one of Florissant’s first French immigrants.

On Feb. 20, the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District responded to a fire at the house. Half was damaged by fire, and the other half was damaged by smoke and water. After an investigation, it was discovered a renter had set the fire, and he was charged with arson.

The owner of the historic house was not financially able to restore the home to its original state, so Historic Florissant stepped in to help. The next step for the organization is to have an architect come in and provide them with the full scope of the work that needs to be done. 

Anyone interested in donating services or funds to help save the historic home should contact Historic Florissant, Inc. at 314-565-1468 or send donations to: Historic Florissant, Inc., 1067 Dunn Road, Florissant, Mo. 63031. Historic Florissant is a 501 (c) 3 and all donations are tax deductible.

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