August 2011 Updates

During Heritage Days weekend the Union Meeting House will be open to the public for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 13. There will be docents present to point out the wonderful features of the building and explain why it was placed on The National Register of Historic Places as a cultural, historic and artistic landmark. Come and pay a visit.

Karen Dube of Heritage Days has selected the Meeting House as the “illustration” for the annual Heritage Days T-Shirt. While the UMH does not benefit financially, it does focus attention on the Meeting House as a significant Readfield historical building. Buy a Heritage Days T-Shirt and draw attention on the UMH. The Board thanks Mrs. Dube for her efforts.

Soon after Heritage Days residents will see heavy equipment and workmen around the building. In July the Board advertised for bids to re-grade the lot to prevent serious drainage problems and it awarded the low bid to Reay Construction & Trucking in Readfield. When the Board had an assessment of the building done in 2009 the serious drainage problems were noted as the very first priority that had to be tackled before building restoration could proceed.

The work will be done with a generous grant received in 2010 from the Quimby Family Foundation. Besides the reconfiguration of the lot the project will include important septic system improvements and work on the two sets of granite front steps that have cracked and badly shifted over the past decades, leading to additional foundation and drainage problems. When everything is completed it will appear as though all that has been accomplished is a nice newly seeded lawn, but close inspection will reveal a major step forward. The Board thanks the Quimby Family Foundation for its faith in its efforts to restore the UMH.

For years the building has been infected with thousands (???millions) of moths and spraying efforts did not solve the problem. In July we were advised to remove all 114 slip covers that had been placed over the original cushions because the moths were living and reproducing at a great rate inside these cushions. All the covers were taken to Rotary Cleaners in Augusta for dry cleaning. The Meeting House thanks owner Paul Poulin for doing this work at a reduced rate. The old cushions were dumped and new comfortable foam cushions were custom cut in Lewiston. Now all that has to be done is get a crew of willing helpers to stuff the foam into the covers. Hopefully this project, which cost over $1,300, will solve the moth problem forever.

FMI contact the UMH at: 158 Thorp Shores, Readfield 04355; (207) 685-4537
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