Gingerbread House gets $20,000 grant

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NORWAY — A $20,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation will help Friends of the Gingerbread House replace the roof on the historic Main Street building.

The announcement of the grant was made this week by Friends of the Gingerbread House.

“The current grant is an outright grant and will go towards several Phase II projects,” Joan Beal of the Friends of the Gingerbread House said in a statement announcing the grant. “This grant, along with the successful Buy a Bundle campaign will help get the roof replacement underway.”

This is the second major grant the organization has received from the Davis Family Foundation. The first helped pay for moving of the house about 950 feet farther up the street to a lot near Butters Park in 2011. It also required the group to match the grant with $100,000 in fundraising.

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The Davis Family Foundation is a public charitable organization established by Phyllis C. Davis and H. Halsey Davis of Falmouth to support educational, medical and cultural/arts organizations located primarily in Maine. According to its website, the foundation was established following Mr. Davis’s retirement as president and chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc. The foundation has provided more than $47 million in grants since its grant-making activities began in 1986.

Locally, the funds have been used in numerous projects, including the renovation of the Waterford Library that was designed by noted Portland architect John Calvin Stevens in 1911; the addition and finished basement on the 1905 Otisfield Town House; and maintenance work at the McLaughlin Garden and Homestead in Paris.

The roof project is expected to begin as early as April 15 and must be completed by June 15, according to the request for proposals. Bids are due in mid-February.

At that time, the board of directors, with expertise from its newest member Richard McSherry, will evaluate the bids and select a contractor, Beal said.

The project will include replacing shingles on the main house and turret roofs, structural repairs where necessary and flashing.

The work will also include the four-story turret. The iron fence around the top of it is built in sections about 3 feet long and 12 inches tall. It needs to be removed, restored, painted and reattached.

While the roof is being replaced, the committee will be moving on to plans for restoring the original windows.

C’s Inc., which is a real estate holding company affiliated with Sun Media Group, publishers of the Sun Journal and Advertiser-Democrat, agreed in 2008 to delay demolition of the 1851 home if anyone could find a way to move the massive house.

Friends of the Gingerbread House banded together to raise funds to initiate and continue the restoration project.

The groups’s Annual Appeal went out in December and will continue until the end of February. Contributions to it pay for operating expenses. Beal said $50 donations to the Buy a Bundle campaign are still being accepted.

More information and photos may be found at the Gingerbread House Facebook page. Donations may be made via Paypal on the website gingerbreadhousenorway.org or to Friends of the Gingerbread House, P.O. Box 525, Norway, ME 04268.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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