NORWAY — The Norway Historical Society has been praised by professional conservation specialists for its website and Facebook page, the maintenance of its historic building and other accomplishments.

Conservation specialists Margaret Gaertner and Ronald Harvey recently spent two days each in the Norway Historical Society building on Main Street, examining the building and collections under a Conservation Assessment Program grant awarded to the Norway Historical Society in April.

Gaertner, who was in Norway several years ago to assess the Gingerbread House, specializes in historic building assessments.

Harvey is a museum collections expert.

The specialists who will prepare the formal report have recommended that the society spend a year collecting data about heat, humidity and moisture inside and outside the building to help determine future action on the building.

The CAP grant is from the Heritage Preservation/National Preservation Institute and has been used to review the artifacts, photographs and paper objects, along with the building that houses it.


At the time of the award, Historical Society President Susan Denison said the grant would allow the society to prioritize the needs of the building and collection and possibly aid in obtaining further grants to complete the work.

The Conservation Assessment Program is designed to assist both small museums like Norway’s and ones with much larger budgets, Denison said.

“Essentially, they gave the trustees new ways to look at the flow of its building,” Historical Society members said in their statement about the recent work. “For example, they suggested that the basement be upgraded and used as storage, office space and display. In contrast, the present second floor and attic storage should be excluded from the public, due to accessibility and temperature control problems.”

The society is housed in the 1828 Mark P. Smith House. It was originally on Main Street, at the corner of Danforth Street. Smith was a successful businessman in Norway in the 1820s, according to Denison. He built a grist mill at Steep Falls and built a tannery on the street that still goes by that name, she said.

The house is one of the oldest in town. It was donated to the society by Norway Savings Bank and moved in 1978 to the corner of Main and Whitman streets, where the town had a small municipal parking lot. A one-story addition was later added for meeting rooms and additional display space.

The society building at 471 Main St. is open and to visitors and volunteers on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Tuesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. in the summer. Admission is free. The society maintains a Facebook page and a website at

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.