October 2011 Updates

It has been a busy and productive fall at the Union Meeting House (“the Brick Church”) on Church Road. Thanks to a generous gift from a descendant, a Memorial Window in memory of the late Mrs. Elizabeth Dumaine Clarke of Kents Hill was restored in late August. Her grandson, Christopher Dumaine of Mt. Vernon, provided the funds which made possible the total rehabilitation of one of the large stenciled glass windows in the sanctuary. Now it fittingly bears a brass plaque with Mrs. Clarke’s name.

Many Readfield residents remember Mrs. Clarke and her husband who operated a large dairy farm on the Old Kents Hill Road for many years. After having been in place since 1868 the window had received no attention. The painted surface had worn away, most of the putty holding in the glass panes had turned to dust and some of the sashes and the outside casing were rotted or broken. Restorer Joseph Caputo of East Pittston took out the sashes and removed them to his workshop where every pane of glass was removed, wood repairs undertaken and then each pane reset in new putty before a complete priming and painting.

The Board of The Meeting House extends its thanks to Mr. Dumaine for his extreme generosity.

Thanks to a major grant from the Quimby Family Foundation the Board was able to call for bids from local contractors to re-grade the entire Meeting House lot. The award went to the low bidder, Reay Excavation of Readfield. In September the firm removed an old septic system, which was causing drainage problems and a pump station installed underground to send all waste up to a newer septic field in back of the Old Vestry. Then dirt which had piled up around the foundation was taken away and the entire lot sloped so that now there is the proper drainage away from the building. A final layer of topsoil, crushed rock under the eaves, and a membrane that is underground to protect the foundation completed the work. Already the new grass is springing up and the change is evident. The Board thanks Mr. and Mrs. Reay for their professional work.

And, as extra bonus, while the equipment was on the lot, Mr. and Mrs. Reay installed the brand new Meeting House sign along Church Road free of charge as a donation to the Meeting House. This gesture is much appreciated. In October the sign posts will be cut off at the top and decorative caps installed.

Thanks also to the students from Kents Hill, led by Joy Bonnefond, who came down at the end of the month to rake leaves and tidy up the Meeting House grounds.

Residents of Readfield are reminded that all meetings of the Meeting House Board and Advisory Board are open to the public. The next meeting will be October 20 at 6:L30 p.m. on the second floor of the Town Office.

The membership is half completed. If you have not renewed we’d appreciate your continued support. Our mailing address is: 158 Thorp Shores Rd., Readfield 04355.

lenny.reay&doug.riley_10.11

Doug Riley, the civil engineer who designed the re-grading of the Union Meeting House lot, and Mr. Linwood Reay, the contractor who successfully carried out Mr. Riley’s plans, talk while the work was underway last month. The project was the first step in a restoration of the building.

 

chris.dumaine.10.11

Christopher Dumaine of Mt. Vernon affixes a brass to the window at the Union Meeting House in memory of his grandmother, Mrs. Elizabeth Dumaine Clarke of Readfield. A very generous gift from Chris and Holly Dumaine made possible the restoration of the beautiful window.

 

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