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By Kevin White, Director of Maintenance and Preservation
Recent years have witnessed a considerable amount of preservation work here on our campus. Many of the individual pieces that make up this whole may go completely unnoticed. Take for instance the garden beds and trellises that were rebuilt a few years ago. Although fairly new, they are now seamless in their appearance among the surrounding antiquity. On the buildings, hundreds of feet of clapboards have been replaced on the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion and the Hooper-Hathaway House, and there are hundreds more to go. Window sashes were replaced in the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace a few years ago. New sashes were fabricated and installed in the Hooper-Hathaway House dining room, complimenting the earlier restoration of paint and wallpaper there. The diamond pane windows in the Hooper-Hathaway House were rebuilt and reinstalled last year as well. On the Retire Beckett House, the door to the garden area was replaced with a new door, using the old hardware. The many multi-pane windows in our buildings require constant upkeep, with re-glazing and re-painting etc. Thresholds, window sills, and other repairs contribute, without notice to the overall upkeep of our landmark.
On the more evident side, the Hooper-Hathaway House, the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace, and the Retire Beckett House had new cedar shingle roofs installed in the past several years. These jobs included rake boards and gutters as well. The mansion itself, which has suffered shingle loss in recent years is slated for a new roof and paint job next year to coincide with the 350th anniversary. The parging on the chimneys will be restored also.
Inside the mansion, the restoration of the Accounting Room and Dining Room Chamber is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious preservation projects undertaken in our history. Having the structure stabilized in this space opens up great possibilities going forward. The completed accounting room is now a showpiece, and presents a wonderfully enhanced pallet for our stories. We will, in the coming months and years, continue such diligent effort as our stewardship dictates.
In 1668, John Turner paid to have this house built. The fortunes of all who lived here are dispersed. The names of many who lent their hand to this work are lost to time. However it is the work of their hands that stands today. We celebrate the lasting and important work of all of those who have been involved in preserving these structures.
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This post was written by Kevin White