NORWAY — Work continued this week at the historic Gingerbread House on Main Street as it is prepared for its move up the street.
James Merry of James G. Merry Building Movers in Scarborough said Monday that this week the crew will be installing steel girders under the house to create a foundation for the building to be placed on a flatbed and moved. Cribbing — which is material used to support the load as it is lifted, was being put in place Monday.
Merry, who was at the site with his partners Joshua Merry and Steve Merry, two of his eight children and also owners of the business, said holes have been knocked in the foundation to provide the area for the steel girders to be inserted.
Snow at the site where the house will be moved also needs to go away, he said.
“We want to let the snow melt a bit,” he said of the ground covered snow that is obscuring the view of the area where the house will sit at the dam by Butters Park. Once the snow melts, they will see if any other ground work needs to be done. Until that is done, Merry said it is premature to give a move date.
Several fireplaces in the building will also be prepared this week so they do not get damaged in the move, he said.
The Gingerbread House, now situated near the intersection of Main Street and Pikes Hill Road, will be moved up the street to a small lot by Butters Park near the Pennesseewassee dam. The 80-foot- by 17-foot building, known historically as the Evans-Cummings House, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is more commonly known as the Gingerbread House for its elaborate “gingerbread” trim that was put on the home during a late 19th century renovation.
Volunteers from the Norway Landmarks Preservation Society, the nonprofit organization which is doing business as Friends of the Gingerbread House, have worked for the past several years to acquire the building and move it to a new lot.
C's Inc., which is a real estate holding company affiliated with Sun Media Group, publishers of the Sun Journal and Advertiser-Democrat, agreed late in 2008 to delay demolition of the 1851 historic home if anyone could successfully figure out a way to move the massive house off site. The volunteers banded together to save the landmark building.