Preserving Elkport History


Endowment will help preserve history of Elkport church and community

Elkport’s Immanuel Lutheran Church is one of the community’s most historic buildings. Built in 1875, it was one of only two structures to survive extreme flooding in 2004 that destroyed the rest of the town. Now, a group of former church members and local residents have established an endowment fund to ensure this community jewel is preserved for years to come.

The Immanuel Preservation Society (IPS) is working to maintain the church as a historical site to mark the existence of the community from its earliest days. As part of this effort, the group established an endowment fund with the Clayton County Foundation for the Future. Once the balance reaches $10,000, the endowment will provide an annual payout group members can use toward preservation of historic records, building maintenance, programming or other emerging needs. 

Last month, IPS participated in Great Give Day – a 24-hour online giving event hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque – and raised over $1,600 in just one day, including a $250 match from the Clayton County Foundation for the Future.

“We are now in the process of applying to the National Register of Historic Places and the State Historical Society of Iowa for historical designation,” says IPS member Rita Dudley. “We hope to restore the church for year-round use. That will allow us to offer programming that supports the needs of the Elkport community, as well as provide a repository for materials historic to both the town and the church.”

Private donations and fundraisers, such as an annual German church service, have enabled the group to demolish the ruined parsonage and restore the church’s interior to its previous condition. The endowment will help IPS continue to accomplish its mission of preserving the historic church, and the history of their community, for generations to come.

To make a gift to the Immanuel Preservation Society endowment, visit For more information, contact Ron Kuehl at 563.245.3754 or email

The Clayton County Foundation for the Future offers many opportunities to improve quality of life by addressing an array of local issues. To learn more about how you can establish a fund or make a gift that impacts your community, contact Foundation Coordinator Emily Sadewasser at 563-880-6044.