A Rural Community Action Ministry work crew from The Church of the Transfiguration in Pittsford, N.Y., spruced up the paint and rebuilt the porch at Leeds Old Town House, using materials purchased by the Historical Society.

“The porch was in very bad shape,” said Leeds Historical Society member Pam Bell. “We were afraid someone coming to the History Center could be hurt getting into the building, but with the new porch and railings, that’s no longer a hazard.”

Work crews from the Pittsford church have been coming to Leeds for 20 years as one of RCAM’s summer work crews. About a dozen teenagers and their chaperones work for a week in RCAM’s 13 town service area “rebuilding and repairing homes and relationships” as the church says in the newsletter.

In addition to the porch project in Leeds, this year’s group built a handicapped accessible bathroom for a woman in Greene and did projects in Buckfield, Turner and Hartford. The porch project had originally been scheduled to be done in June by a youth ministry group from East Stroudsberg, Penn., but due to rain, the group concentrated on other inside projects for RCAM.

“We’re really fortunate to have the work group’s help,” said Bell. “The Historical Society’s resources are very limited, and there’s a lot to be done in order to preserve this old building.”

Last year the Historical Society replaced the roof, and it hopes to gradually restore the interior of the building to the way it looked before it was modernized, with a dropped, acoustic tile ceiling and wood-grained panelling on the walls. The goal is also to provide a place to conserve the items in the collection as time and funds permit.

To help raise funds for these projects, the Leeds Historical Society is selling Leeds Commemorative Pottery and reproductions of an 1854 map of the town, suitable for framing. Both are available at the Leeds Municipal Office in Leeds Center. Those who wish to visit the History Center to see the Historical Society collection should call Laura Juraska at 524-2324.

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