The Thompson-Ames Historical Society
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It’s autumn – even though Indian Summer tries to belie the fact!
The hustle bustle of Thompson-Ames Historical Society volunteers trying to get the museum buildings and grounds ready for winter started on Saturday, the first day of October.
The mood had been set the day before when Gene Caroselli’s painters had arrived at the Grange Museum Building to address paint that had been peeling during the past two years. -- There is nothing to motivate workers more than for them to see progress being made, and that’s just what Friday’s work had done! Peeling paint had been scraped in preparation for priming and painting. The plan, to shim fascia boards where needed to allow air flow that had been obstructed as a result of the building’s having been insulated, was in place and gave a ray of hope that this would forestall the recurring problem of paint peeling. (Old buildings always present challenges!)
A “To Do” list had been prepared to serve as a guide in getting the buildings and grounds ready for winter.
One truly important item on the list is “getting ready for heavy rains”. A service call had been arranged with Frank Sweeney of Seamless Gutters, but, in the meantime, every rainstorm made for nail-biting apprehension.
Thursday’s downpour was a case in point. Since the Grange gutters were not functioning well, a deluge of water and mud flooded into the basement.
When the heavy rain had started, Stan Piper had made a beeline for the Grange for he knew the submersible sump pump would need assistance. How right he was! But despite his efforts, the rain and mud proved too much for the pump which finally konked out! Before a new standing pump could be hooked up, the damage had been done and the rain had stopped.
Understandably, on Saturday morning attention was first focused on the Grange.
Per his usual custom, when Lloyd Ekholm arrived, the trunk of his car was filled with a variety of tools; he was ready for almost anything.
Stan and Lloyd walked the Grange grounds together to see where to start. They were pleased to see that the dirt that had been used during the summer to fill in a foundation gap which had developed as a result of a heavy rain is standing up well.
Then Lloyd noticed that some nails on the outdoor staircase needed to be reset. He got a hammer and began working.
He happened to glance at the nearby gutter on the back of the Homestead ell. What he noticed made him take a second look. He couldn’t believe his eyes for there poking through the screen guard, which is designed to keep gutters clean of debris, was a healthy growing plant! Looking more closely, he noticed several plants growing in a thick layer of mud in the gutter!
Lloyd cleaned the gutter as best he could but realized that each section of gutter would need to be carefully inspected and cleaned as needed during the up-coming service call. -- It is puzzling as to how so much dirt could have gotten into the gutters. Perhaps it happened the summer when the sewer lines were being installed.
In the meantime, Stan turned his attention to caulking crevices in the Grange cellar wall where water and mud had come through during Thursday’s downpour. He used ten cartridges of caulking in all on Saturday!
Then Lloyd drove up to the Meetinghouse to address whatever needs he could. He filled a bag with pieces of broken glass and then started to dig a shallow trench parallel to the back of the building to catch rain water and divert it away from the building. -- The completion of this project will await another day when volunteers gather to work and put in more volunteer hours.
During the 62 years that Thompson-Ames Historical Society has been in existence, it has been efforts such as these that have been done by volunteers who care about preserving Gilford’s historic buildings and the precious items that they house. Without these caring volunteers Gilford would not have it s cultural heritage preserved and celebrated.
Thompson-Ames Historical Society gratefully welcomes the participation of more and more volunteers. “Many hands make light work,” as Stan Piper says, and, “The more, the merrier.”
If you wish to volunteer, please call 527-9009 and leave your name, telephone number and a brief message. You will receive a return call as soon as possible.
For more information about Thompson-Ames Historical Society, Gilford’s 501C3 not-for-profit historical society, log onto T-AHS’s website www.gilfordhistoricalsociety.org.