Winterport Historic Landmark Needs Spire and Roof Repairs
The Winterport Union Meeting House was built back in 1833.
It's bell is one of only 112 Revere bells, cast in the Boston foundry of Paul Revere.
Efforts are now underway to repair the roof and spires of the nationally registered historic structure.
Joy Hollowell tells us more.
"The meeting house was built by a group of families in this area," says Winterport Union Meeting House Board member Maggie English-Flanagan. "This was all Frankfort, Winterport was not incorporated yet."
The meeting house was built in 1833 for about $3,000. Families could actually buy a pew for $60, complete with a deed of purchase. It was used as a meeting place for several religious denominations as well as town gatherings. Quilts were used below the floor boards to keep in heat. The bell in the tower is one of only 112 Revere Bells known in existence.
"It was used well into the 1900s," explains English-Flanagan. "And then about 40 years ago, it kind of went into disrepair. In the 1970s, it was put on the National Registry of Historic Places."
Soon after, a board was created to bring the meeting house back to life.
Today, the Meeting House is used for weddings, concerts and other venues. Recently, lighting was installed to host nighttime events.
"We've just gradually started, in the last ten to fifteen years, doing a lot of work on the building," says Flanagan.
Now, that work requires replacement of all four spires as well as the slate roof.
"Two of the spires actually fell off," says Ann Ronco, treasurer for the Winterport Union Meeting House Board. "You may ask- why not just leave the spires off. But the problem is, now we are getting leakage into the building. Obviously going into winter time, when there's the possibility of snow coming in, rain coming in, so it's something we really need to take care of."
United Rental has donated the use of a lift. The board is looking to the public for the rest of the help.
"Realistically, we would probably be looking at around $40,000," says Ronco.
The roof will be capped off for winter. The board is hoping to begin repairs in the spring.
For more information on the Winterport Union Meeting House, including how to make a donation, log onto https://wumh.org/