February 2013 Update

Just because there is snow piled against the front door does not mean that The Union Meeting House (the Brick Church) is inactive. The stained glass in the bottom sash of the Hunton-Atkinson has been com-pleted by Stained Glass Express (a division of Oakes & Parkhurst in Manchester/Waterville) and returned to the building. The entire win-dow is being restored because of a gift from Mrs. Donna Page (a Hunton descendent). Mr. Joseph Caputo has taken the top sash to his workshop and is working on the repair of the wooden parts of the window. The entire unit will be re-installed during warmer weather.
Mr. Caputo has also taken the left front door for a complete overhaul in his shop. It needs to be strengthened and tightened up, coats of old paint removed and new primer and paint applied. This is being restored with a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Dana Therrien of Readfield in memory of Mr. Therrien’s parents. Once that door is done Mr. Caputo will take the right hand door and likewise restore it. Funds for that door are coming from the successful quilt raffle organized this past summer by Advisory Board member Evelyn Potter.

At the last Board meeting this month it voted to follow the wishes of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Wagner of Read-field to use the funds donated by friends of their late daughter, Susan, to continue the restoration of the large windows. Three windows are on the list to be done this winter and they will receive a memorial plaque in memory of Miss Wagner once they are returned and installed. More details on this in the February Messenger.
Therefore, persons driving by the Brick Church this winter will see a lot of plywood closing up windows and doors that have been removed for restoration but this is a good time to get the work behind us before the sum-mer season.

If you have not renewed your membership this is a good time to do so. If you want to join with other inter-ested persons and become a first time member, the Board would welcome you on board. We hope that every-one would help to keep the Brick Church as an important Readfield landmark. Thanks for your support.

Contact the UMH at: 685-4537 or 158 Thorp Shores Rd., Readfield 04355.

January Board of Directors Business Meeting

The Board of Directors are meeting January 17th 6:30pm. This is a business meeting to determine / prioritize which stained and stenciled glass windows can be repaired / restored with monies in hand. There is still time to make a donation for this worthy effort! Donations can be sent to: Marius Peladeau, UMH President, 158 Thorp Shores, Readfield, ME 04355. Thank you for your kind consideration!20091103_3

Please Remember Readfield Union Meeting House when Planning Your Year-End Giving…

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Readfield Union Meeting House circa 1950

This picture of Readfield Union Meeting House  was taken c1950 – notice the steeple and clock. Efforts are underway to preserve them now – along with the interior repairs and restorations to the invaluable trompe l’oiel artwork by Charles J. Schumacher, the stained glass and stenciled windows and more. This is a daunting task for a handful of volunteers. Community support has been and continues to be vital to this process – some have helped through hands on, others have given gifts in kind and last but not least we have gratefully received the much needed individual and business cash donations and grants from foundations. All are imperative to the success of preserving this national treasure so PLEASE remember Readfield Union Meeting House as you plan your end of year giving!

December 2012 Update

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A happy holiday to everyone from the Board and Advisory Board of The Union Meeting House. We are buttoned up tight for the winter but before it got too cold workmen from Oakes & Parkhurst stained glass restorers came and took out the Nancy Hunton Atkinson memorial stained glass window. Over the past decades the bottom third had sagged badly and the entire sash was in danger of letting go. This would mean hundreds of pieces of broken glass on the ground and the loss of a beautiful window.
This past summer Mrs. Donna Page, a former Readfield girl and a Hunton descendant, donated $1,000 to have the window taken out and completely restored. Between Oakes & Parkhurst, which will repair the stained glass, and Joseph Caputo of East Pittston, who will scrap, prime, repair and paint the wooden casing and sashes, the window should be back in place by springtime. Our thanks for Mrs. Page for her thoughtfulness.
October was the Meeting House Board’s annual meeting. Elected to serve until October 2013 were: Marius B. Péladeau, president; Barbara Boenke, secretary; Donn Harriman, treasurer; and Florence Drake, Marianne and John Perry, Karen B. Peterson; Joan Wiebe and Milton R. Wright. On the Advisory Board are Dale Marie Potter Clark, Mary Jernigan, Brianne M. McNally and Evelyn A. Potter.
The newsletter to all members and donors is in the mail. If anyone else wants a copy let us know at 685-4537. The UMH is honored that the branches of The Bank of Maine in Readfield and Winthrop made a kind donation to sponsor this newsletter.

Getting Married Soon?

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                                                       Donna Hall photo, 5/18/2002
Amanda Clark & David Linton wedding at 
Readfield Union Meeting House. 
The trompe l’oeil art provided a 
beautiful backdrop for the wedding

Have you thought about reserving the Union Meeting House for your wedding? The setting could not be more beautiful – or historic. FMI email unionmeetinghouse@gmail.com.

Did you get married at the Union Meeting House? We want to include more pictures in the slideshow, on this website, of weddings performed at UMH. Email jpegs to unionmeetinghouse@gmail.com. Be sure to include names, dates and photographic credits.

“I knew from the time I was a little girl that I wanted to get married at the Union Meeting House because I always thought it was so beautiful inside. It was like a dream come true for me.” – Mandi Clark Linton, Readfield

The Dome has been Removed for VITAL Repairs!

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Readfield Union Meeting House made a big step yesterday! The dome was removed and stored so that VITAL repairs can be made. Thank you to the Lewiston Sun for covering the landmark event in both words and pictures!!

Donations are still needed and appreciated to complete this project and others – all vital to the survival of Readfield Union Meeting House! Read on to our next post to learn more about the projects we are undertaking to preserve UMH. To see more pictures of the event go to our “Repair and Restoration” slideshow. This slideshow will also give you an idea of how much work has been done over the past two years! You can also read more in the Lewiston Sun news article, along with their pictures,  by going to our MEDIA LINKS. Thank you, as always, for your support!

2012 Membership Drive ~ Your Support is Needed

Readfield Union Meeting House annual membership drive is underway. This year’s membership drive is more important than ever as in the year ahead we face some daunting tasks. If you have not received a letter and request from our Board of Directors do not hesitate – you can easily make your secure online donation today via the “DONATE HERE” button / link at the left of this screen.

Following is a letter from the UMH Board of Directors, who are seeking the support of members and donors:

June 2012

Dear Members and Friends

The membership year for the Union Meeting House comes to an end this month (June 2012) and a new one, filled with daunting tasks, begins. We must succeed to reach a major step in saving the steeple. If we fail the future of the building is very uncertain. The past four years have seen progress, due in great part to the willingness of our members and friends to support the restoration efforts.
This is going to be an important year for the building. One of the most expert steeplejacks examined the steeple last fall and confirmed what Ernest Bracy was told more than 25 years ago – there are many seriously rotted beams in the steeple. Its entire stability is threatened. We don’t have to spell out the consequences of what will happen if we fail to act quickly. Everyone can see the poor condition of the clapboards on the tower, the badly eroded clock dials and the Roman numerals on the dial beginning to come off. Portions of the metal roof on the dome are flying off in the wind and falling to the ground like leaves off a tree. These are merely experior evidence of a more serious deteroration inside.
The first step is for a crane to remove the entire rotted, leaking dome. While the crane is on site the bell and its cradle will be taken out since ultimately the metal belfry roof, on which the bell sits has to be taken up and replaced. A new belfry roof will make the structure water tight.
This is only the initial step. The years of water dripping down into the steeple have rotted the majority of the structural beams that hold the belfry and clock tower together. The majority will have to be replaced. These are huge timbers and it will be a major, expensive undertaking to remove the rotted ones and to insert the new timbers while working around the clock mechanism. Naturally the cost will be huge. These first two steps to save the steeple will be close to $110,000 ($30,000 for Phase I and $80,000 for Phase II later). That may seem daunting, but the Board thinks it is a feasible goal and one we can reach over several years with community support.
Yes, this multi-year project will be the most ambitious and most costly undertaking in the Meeting House’s 184 year history. Encouraged by past support, the Board believes that the community shares in the significance of preserving this magnificent historical structure in the Town of Readfield. PLEASE renew your membership or, if you have not given before, join with a first-time gift so that the first step we have outlined above can be done in 2012.

Sincerely yours,
The Board of The Readfield Union Meeting House
Marius Pelideau, President
Barbara Boenke, Secretary
Donn Harriman, Treasurer
Florence Drake, Marianne Perry, John Perry, Karen B. Peterson, Joan Wiebe and Milton R. Wright
The Advisory Board of The Readfield Union Meeting House
Dale Marie Potter Clark, Holly H. Dumaine, Mary Jernigan, Brianne M. McNally and Evelyn A. Potter

Membership Annual Dues:
$25   Single
$45   Family
$15   Student
$75   Patron
$100 Benefactor
$150 Sponsor
$250 Life Fellow
$250 Corporate

Please contact us for special named gifts to the Meeting House. Naming opportunities include the steeple, windows. replica carpet and bell. There are other projects that could be accomplished with an earmarked gift and could help move the restoration forward. We would like to talk to you about these opportunities. If you wish for information on these additional opportunities please contact Marius Peladeau (contact info below).

You can easily mail your donation to:
Readfield Union Meeting House
c/o 158 Thorpe Shores
Readfield, ME 04355
Questions can be directed to:
Marius Peladeau: 207-685-4537 or mpeladeau@roadrunner.com

We thank you in advance for your kind consideration and generosity!