You may wonder why building owners in small, but growing, Pendleton have been busy restoring their “old buildings.”

Take a look back — back to Aug. 8, 1988, the of Historic Fall Creek, Pendleton Settlement’s founding.

The five ladies — of which I am one — who founded the settlement, had no idea what would follow their work to place the whole of Pendleton’s original boundaries in the National Register of Historic Places.

All we wanted to accomplish was, “To promote and preserve the historic character, associations, and architecture of Pendleton and surrounding area.”

Nevertheless, many wonderful happenings are the result of Pendleton’s National Register status: Grant monies are available to help commercial building owners restore their historic buildings; some homeowners are inspired to restore their homes; a preservation commission oversees restoration of the commercial building; there is an influx of tourists, who help boost the local economy; most importantly, residents have a renewed sense of pride in their town.

To honor building owners who restore, not remodel, their buildings, the settlement places a restoration award sign on their property. This honor recognizes the thought and work put into inspiring and restoring the building to the original facade.

A family that has received the settlement’s Restoration Award is Tammy Bowman and Joe Noel. Two years ago, they purchased the Sears Dutch Colonial home, built in 1936, by Chad Goff, later owned by Jim and Jane Story. “Sears” is part of the name, because it was advertised in the HONOR BILT catalog and sold through Sears Department Store.

The exterior of their Sears Dutch Colonial home came to them structurally unaltered. To restore, they have removed the aluminum siding, which revealed the well-preserved wood siding. The two-story porch has been rebuilt, and gives them a comfortable vantage point.

They are in the process of carefully selecting replacement windows, which are very close to the original design.

Guidelines for historic building restoration allow restorationists to change the configuration of interiors, which gives the owners the freedom to make interior changes to suit personal taste and update technology. Tammy and Joe’s reconfiguration of kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms are to their liking, and they are delighted with the wood floors, after carpet removal.

There are more Sears homes in Pendleton. You will hear about them in the future. In the meantime, take a look at what Tammy and Joe are doing. You will be delighted to see what restoration can do for a home.

Helen Reske is a board member of Historic Fall Creek, Pendleton Settlement Inc., a historical preservation group focused preserving historic building and culture in the area.