CANTON — Men from RAO Enterprises of Canton and Tancrede Building Movers of Lewiston on Friday continued moving the Masonic building onto the site of the former Canton Historical Society building.
“When you’re moving a ‘grand old lady’ of a building that hails from the 1860s, everything inches along very slowly and carefully,” said Historical Society member Phyllis Ouellette while watching the crews work.
Last spring Ouellette and other community members were searching for a building to host community events when they heard C.N. Brown was going to demolish the Masonic building to create more parking for its Big Apple convenience store. They approached a company representative, who told them they could have the building for free if they could move it by the end of September.
Ouellette approached the Board of Selectmen with her group’s idea to demolish the Historical Society building and move the neighboring Masonic building in its place. Voters approved using $60,000 of town funds for the demolition and move at a special town meeting in July.
While asking for town funding for the project, the group also applied for a grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, which the group recently found out it was not awarded.
Ouellette said they may apply again for the grant in December, and that they’re also applying for other grants for the building and its refurbishing.
“The building is going to become a centerpiece of this town. The inside is quite spectacular – the upstairs is all hardwood flooring and hardwood on the ceiling,” she said.
The Historical Society is accepting donations for the work. They can be made at the Canton Maine Historical Society Facebook page or by mailing a check to the Canton Historical Society, PO Box 605, Canton, Maine 04221.