Meetinghouse in Strafford, VT

Project Overview

The meetinghouse in Strafford, VT has served the townspeople for both secular and religious activities since its construction in 1799.  In June of 2004, working as sub-contractors for Jan Lewandoski, we had the opportunity restore the steeple of the meetinghouse.  Two of the girts that support the lantern and spire had rolled inward and were in danger of serious failure.  We restored the two girts and another on the floor below, that had significant rot, in addition to the bell deck and the junction of the roof with the back of the tower.  A wonderful account of the building of the meetinghouse entitled The Town House has been published by Strafford resident Gwenda Smith.  Among the accounts offered in her book, we found the names of Leonard Walker, who is known to have built the seven foot weather-vane and cut boards and lath for the meetinghouse, and his brother Freeman Walker who is also believed to have participated in the construction of the meetinghouse.  During the restoration we uncovered the carefully scribed initials of the two brothers.  Leonard’s initials were found upside down on a rafter beneath the bell deck and Freeman’s were found at the base of one of the octagonal posts.  We live for this kind of thing!

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