Friday, July 31, 2020

Reuse, recycle: Vintage church windows to adorn Parson Smith House wedding barn

A workman removes an old window from
Windham Hill Chruch which will now be
used for a new wedding barn on the grounds
of the Parson Smith House in Windham.
A total of five of the six windows being
replaced at the church will be reused at the
new wedding barn.
By Ed Pierce
Nothing lasts forever, but everybody benefits when an attempt is made to see the lasting beauty of older items. That’s the premise behind an effort to reuse some old windows being replaced by Windham Hill Church in a contemporary setting.
Last week the church members announced that they were replacing six large old wooden windows with new metal ones with screens. Upon hearing that news, Broker Linda Griffin of Pleasant Hill Properties in Windham launched an initiative to try and salvage the windows.
Griffin said Holly Dickinson and Leith Smith of Windham responded and said they could use them in the wedding barn they are building on the grounds of the Parson Smith House on the River Road in South Windham.
“How exciting and how appropriate as Parson Smith was our second settled minister in Windham,” Griffin said. “He preached at two churches that were started inside the fort in front of his house, so he could walk to work.”
According to Griffin, the Rev. Don and Elaine Dickinson bought the circa-1764 Parson Smith House with a lot of the original acres years ago.  
She said that the third church built locally was called the corner church and was built nearby the Parson Smith House and then the fourth church, the Windham Hill Church, was built about 1839 on the Windham Center Road and is now the oldest existing church in Windham.
“When the state held the archeological dig a few years ago at the top of the hill under the River Road, the head archeologist Leith Smith met the Dickinson’s daughter Holly and the rest is history,” Griffin said.
Two years ago, a Windham home and barn on Route 302 near Highland Lake owned by the grandparents of Windham Historical Society member Linda Lunt was being demolished and Dickinson and Smith hired Ed Sommers, a barn wright from Bridgton, to take the barn down and moved the pieces to a neighbor’s barn on the River Road so they could work on repairs.
The barn is now being moved to the fields beside the Parson Smith House on the River Road. ago there had been two large cattle barns in that spot and the old well with the granite well cap stone is still in place and there is still water in the well, Griffin said.
“Holly and Leith want to create a wedding venue there in this newly rebuilt barn,” she said. “Ed Sommers spent two years repairing and restoring the timbers and work in the new location has begun recently on the sills and flooring. Holly and Leith were pleased to have five of the old windows with the original wavy glass for their wedding barn.”
Smith believes that the six windows from the Windham Hill Church are original as the muntins, or the windows’ glaze bars, have a similar profile to windows in 1839 when that church was built. There is a lot of the original wavy glass still in place.
“Many local people had already spoken for the windows as they wanted the windows for woodworking projects using the wavy glass but when they heard the windows were going to the Parson Smith property they let Holly and Leith have five of them.”
The large old windows also come with large storm windows, Griffin said.
“I did call Marc Bagala who has a business in Westbrook restoring old windows and his office person said he would buy the old wavy glass but had no calls for such large old windows.”
Windham Hill Church now has new metal windows that will not need painting and they also have window screens.
“A huge thank you to Rolf Dries and his crew of Jim Hanscom and Allen Greenacer who helped remove the old windows,” Griffin said. <

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Comments Help Improve Your Community.