A piece of Hope and American Girl Scout history got a promise of financial backing Tuesday from the Hope City Board of Directors.

A piece of Hope and American Girl Scout history got a promise of financial backing Tuesday from the Hope City Board of Directors.

City Parks and Tourism Director Paul Henley has succeeded in getting the Girl Scout “Little House/Log Hut” in Hope Fair Park nominated to the National Register of Historic Places and Henley told the Board on Tuesday it is one of three remaining in the United States that were built by the Works Progress Administration.

“It took four years for the Girl Scouts to sell enough cookies to pay off the materials used to build it,” Henley said.

He said the structure was started in 1934 and completed in 1938 in cooperation with the WPA. He said the building was in continual use by the Girl Scouts from that time until about five years ago, when the local troops could no longer afford its upkeep.

“Obviously, the Girl Scouts paid for the building, but it's in Fair Park on city property,” Henley said. “It finally came about with a little prodding from some folks to get this building some help.”

He said the best way to rehabilitate and maintain the structure was to have in put on the National Register. The State Board of Review of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program approved the nomination Dec. 3, and state officials have said its acceptance by the National Parks Service is almost assured.

With the nomination process in place, Henley said National Register officials, who have examined the building three times, urged him to begin restoration to preserve and maintain the building.

“Once they saw it, they couldn't believe what we had,” he said.

Henley said the remaining WPA “Little House” structures were in New York and Michigan.

“Nothing has changed about it, except the shingles on the roof,” he said.

He said the original cedar shake roof has since been replaced for fire safety purpose.

“The last roof that was put on there, the mother's all got together and we fixed a big pot of squirrel mulligan stew and the fathers put the roof on,” Linda Lee, GSA volunteer said. “I remember that because it was so cold that day.”

Henley estimated about $60,000 will be required to preserve the structure, and he has applied for a grant through the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program for the funds. He said the state will provide $40,000 and the Girl Scouts will be required to provide $20,000.

Director Steve Montgomery said the Hope Parks and Tourism Commission has already pledged $10,000 toward that effort.

The board voted unanimously to provide the remaining $10,000 in matching funds.

“That is probably not going to be enough to restore the building; but the Historic Preservation was concerned about our saving this building, first,” Henley said.

Mayor Dennis Ramsey noted that he has already had former Girl Scouts from Hope express interest in helping.

“I had an e-mail from a woman who was a former Girl Scout,” Ramsey said. “She feels someone will be able to raise some funds from former Girl Scouts.”