Saxtons River Historical Society Building Gets Repairs

Bellows Falls Shopper March 14, 2012

Saxtons River Historical Society Building Gets Repairs
Saxtons River Historical Society Building Gets Repairs

SAXTONS RIVER, VT. - Located at thehead of the rotary on Main Street, the Saxtons River Historical Society building is currently having renovation work done to replace roofing on two tiers of the building's steeple. Jancewicz & Son of Bellows Falls is doing the work which includes replacing asphalt shingles on the ledge above the base of the steeple and at the hexagonal transition to the spire, which will be removed and replaced with 24-gauge Kynar painted Galvalume metal.

Photos by Joe Milliken

Galvalume is a steel product with a zinc/aluminum alloy fused to its surface to prevent rusting. The surface is then factory painted with a 35 year warranted finish. "Duringan examination from inside the bell tower, an original metal layer was observed on a lower roof area," Jeff Dunbar of Jancewicz & Son said in a recent interview. "It is believed that the original roof surfaces would have been consistent with this layer. These facts informed our decision to use metal rather than other material options.

"Two years ago I was contacted by Louise Luring, who serves on the Board of the Historical Society, and asked to provide options for the roof replacement," Dunbar said. "At the time, the Historical Society was having exterior painting done and the group's budget did not allow for undertaking two large projects simultaneously. Then, last fall, it was agreed to schedule the work for this Spring.

"Initially, the Historical Society was interested in replacing just one of the roofs, however, due to the high cost of renting a lift for access, it was decided to address both roof areas while the lift was on-site." To off-set the expense of the project,Jancewicz & Son donated a portion of their labor costs to make the project more affordable.

"We chose Jancewicz & Son because they are locally owned and have a good reputation," Louise Luring of the Historical Society said in a recent interview. "We received a grant from the H.G. and M.R. Anderson Foundation towards the cost, which is almost $2,000, plus the cost of the lift, which is quite expensive. We expect the work to take a week."

The building was constructed in 1836, originally serving as a church for the community and most recently, has served Saxtons River Historical Society. The museum is located on the ground floor of the former Congregational church. The sanctuary on the second floor has a beautiful tracker organ installed in 1900 that is still used for concerts and weddings.

"While our work takes our installers throughout, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, we are particularly proud to work in our immediate community," Dunbar added. "The historic building is the centerpiece of Saxtons River and is characteristic of the architecture of many of our historic villages.

"I have great respect for the many small groups and committed citizens of our small villages who donate their time, energy, and resources to preserve these important artifacts and I am grateful that we could be a small part of this preservation."