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Preserving American History

Preserving American History

July 07, 2022

Financial Advisor, Jodie Cohen, and her husband have an interest in preserving American History.

They have a passion project restoring a historic fire station in Lagro, Indiana. Built in 1840 and a part of the original town plat, the Federal-style triple brick-walled building was used for the federal fur trade, post office, and jail. The soft bricks were made by hand at the site. It served as an opera house in the 1880s and is the one of the oldest buildings in Wabash County. Over the years it was a town hall and housed local business spaces including the Lagro newspaper. The last use was a fire station.

The Town of Lagro, named after the Le Grois Indians was a major hub in the fur trade industry. You are also able to see an old Pioneer home, the Kerr Locks, and period homes if you visit the town. When the railways came to town, the population began to decrease from its height of 650 people.


In the early 1900s, two doors were cut out of the front of the building so it could be used as a fire station and house the engines. The upstairs part of the building was used as the Town Hall where they would host fish frys. The Lions Club sign, still in the building is a remnant from when they met in the building.  In the 1980s the building was no longer fit to be used as a firehouse. A new fire station for the volunteer fire department was built out of aluminum siding and is located a few blocks west of the building.


Jodie’s husband thought it would be a perfect building for a coffee house. With Jodie’s love for tea, they thought it should be a coffee and tea house. After they bought the building, they had a contractor replace the roof. About 10 years later, a Lagro mason, Ray Smith and his crew rebuilt the front face of the building since it was pulling away from the second floor. This last year a Lagro contractor, Greg Moore, and his crew have been refurbishing the bottom floor which is the space that will be used for the coffee and tea house. When the bottom floor is finished, they will look for someone to run the business out of the building.

Recently, Jodie and her husband were able to visit the location and check out the latest renovations.

Jodie wore her kimono onsite for the Lagro Good Ole Days home and historic buildings tours where she served three kinds of teas: black peach, decaffeinated black, and steamed green tea from Yame City, Japan.