DURHAM – The historic former Solid Rock Grange Hall on Route 125, which now houses the Robert Small Insurance Agency, is getting a “lift” due to a state reconstruction project at the intersection of Route 125 and Quaker Meetinghouse Road.

After learning that the road project, which began a few weeks ago, would raise the road in front of his business by 2 feet, Small decided to have the building raised.

It was a major undertaking. Small had to re-locate his business temporarily to his nearby home. Now, because the building was situated on ledge and rock pilings when it was built in 1878, a new foundation is being constructed in order to raise the elevation of the building to about one foot higher than the road. The building has been raised about 7 feet while the new foundation is being completed.

The two-story, 126-year-old wood frame building was purchased by Robert and Elaine Small a few years after the Grange disbanded in 1984.

The couple, who had been operating their insurance business out of their Grant Road home since 1981, converted the interior of the building to accommodate the business.

The exterior has been preserved, with the exception of converting the enclosed outhouse area into an enclosed fire escape and adding a business sign.

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