NORWAY — Friends of the Gingerbread House have begun restoring the exterior of the north side of the historic building on Main Street, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation.

The grant and local fundraising efforts will help pay for the repairing and painting clapboards to match the historic colors on the western gable end. The turret will be repaired, windows restored and painted. Two doors, which were later additions to the house, have been converted to the original window openings.

Ed Somers of Bridgton has done the renovation carpentry on these projects, with advice and support of board member Nick DiConzo.

“This will make a beautiful and visible difference to the western end of Main Street,” board member Andrea Burns said. “We are so grateful to the Davis Family Foundation, and to our local donors who have patiently and steadily watched and contributed to this long-term project.”

“We have also had several local contributors become part of our Corbel Circle, with pledges of $1,000,” board member Ann Siekman said. “Generous donations like these will be catalysts for the continuing renovation of the exterior.”

Corbels are supporting brackets often found on gingerbread-style buildings.

The 80- by 20-foot home was built in 1851 by Richard Evans and later bought by Charles Bradley Cummings, founder of the C.B. Cummings & Son dowel mill on Pikes Hill Road, according to a report by Burns to Maine Preservation in Portland. It became commonly known as the Gingerbread House for its elaborate trim added in the late 19th century by John Hazen for Cummings.

Robert Sallies and Howard James eventually took ownership while they were publishers of the Advertiser-Democrat, Burns wrote.

In 2008, C’s Inc., a real estate holding company affiliated with Sun Media Group, publishers of the Sun Journal and Advertiser-Democrat, agreed to delay demolition of the house if someone could move it. A group of volunteers named Friends of the Gingerbread House, who later formed the nonprofit Norway Landmarks Preservation Society, banded together to save it.

In 2011, the house was moved about 950 feet farther up the street to near Butters Park.

Anyone who wishes to join in this effort may mail contributions to Friends of the Gingerbread House, Box 525, Norway ME 04268.

FMI, donate: gingerbreadhousenorway.org.

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