Historic goldfish hatchery saved

A Morgan County preservation group has agreed to buy a building that once served as headquarters for the world’s largest goldfish hatchery.

The Morgan County Historic Preservation Society agreed to buy the Grassyfork Fisheries building in Martinsville from Ozark Fisheries, the Reporter-Times reported this month.

Eugene Shireman founded the fishery in 1899. It grew to more than 600 ponds spread over 1,500 acres by selling fish to pet shops and department stores. When Ozark bought the business in the 1970s, it was producing 40 million fish a year.

The preservation group plans to stabilize the building, which opened in 1936, and remove asbestos before attempting to find a permanent owner. A $60,000 loan is being sought from the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana to save the structure, long considered one of the most endangered historic buildings in Morgan County.

Some have suggested it be converted to a community center or educational academy, the Reporter-Times reported.

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