Thanks to several donations, the RV/MH Heritage Foundation, according to Foundation President Darryl Searer, now owns the manufactured home on display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart.
The home was originally erected and donated by Fairmont Homes for a period of one year for the purpose of showing museum visitors the evolution of mobile homes of the early to mid-20th century to today’s manufactured homes. Since it was opened to the public in late 2013, it has been toured by thousands of visitors to the museum, according to a news release.
As the clock was counting down to the end of the year when the home would have been removed by Fairmont Homes, Jim Shea, president of Fairmont Homes, offered to let the Foundation acquire the home for its wholesale cost of $62,140. He also offered to have Fairmont Homes donate the first $15,000, which he would match personally for a total contribution of $30,000. Part of the Fairmont agreement includes Fairmont having the first right of refusal when a new manufactured home is placed on the site.
Jim Scoular, president of Jimsco, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Foundation board member, volunteered to contribute the remaining $32,140 allowing the Foundation to acquire full ownership of the home.
Scoular’s gift is a portion of a $200,000 contribution he made to kick off a new fundraiser for the purpose of building the manufactured housing museum that was part of the master plan when the RV/MH Hall of Fame was originally built, but was postponed due to a lack of funding.
According to Searer, the manufactured housing addition will cost about $500,000.
The remainder of Scoular’s gift, $168,000, will be deposited in a designated escrow account to be held until the Foundation is debt-free and the remainder of construction cost for the addition is raised.
Searer explained that the Foundation plans to sell the manufactured home displayed at the museum with the proceeds from the sale credited to the MH museum addition fund, which will restore Scoular’s $32,140 contribution to purchase the home back to MH museum fund and bring his contribution back to its original $200,000.
Construction of the MH addition will not begin until it is totally funded, the board having pledged to never go in debt again.