Farmington Grange raising funds to paint historic building

4 mins read
The Farmington Grange is hoping to raise money for a painting project.

WEST FARMINGTON – The clapboards are peeling; so is the ceiling.

“If 200 people in the community each donated $30, we’d have enough money, $6,000, to purchase the primer and top coat that are needed to get started,” said Bonnie Clark, president of the Farmington Grange No. 12.

The clapboards on the 130-year-old historic building, a former Baptist Church and home to the Grange Hall since 1938, on 124 Bridge Street in West Farmington are peeling. The same is happening to the ceiling inside “It’s as if the building is weeping,” said Grange member Jo Josephson.

Clark admitted that the estimated $6,000 for the primer and top coat is just a drop in the bucket. The full cost of repainting the two-towered building’s exterior and interior ceiling is somewhere around $30,000, including the cost of painters standing high above the ground on a scaffold scraping the peeling paint before priming and painting the clapboards and ceiling. This was something that was done in the past by members, but no longer as membership dwindles and the age of the members rises. Meanwhile, the diversity of activities inside the hall increases.

That $30,000 is a lot of money for a rural non-profit, so it makes sense to start small with the paint, said Grange member Steve Scharoun. He has calculated out how much paint is needed, within a gallon or two.

“Through this press release, we are reaching out to those hundreds of community members who have benefited from the contra dances, dinners, theater productions, weddings, scout meetings, quilt shows, yoga classes and winter farmers’ markets held in the grange’s spacious hall,” said Grange member Marion Scharoun.

“And to those farmers who are using the Grange’s commercial licensed-ready kitchen to add value to their farm products. To the tappers of maple trees and the beekeepers and makers of apple sauce and bread. And most recently to those with food trucks that travel about the county,” said Grange member Pat Libby.

The Grange’s major source of income, pre-pandemic, has been from its wholesome food booth and award winning vegetable exhibit at the fair each year and from the rental of its dining room, hall and commercial kitchen.

“But pandemic aside, that income is another drop in the bucket when it comes to paying for the heating, electricity, water, insurance and the upkeep and/or replacement of the stove and dish washer in the kitchen,” said Grange Treasurer Gerald Libby.

Beyond community members, the Grange is also currently reaching out to local foundations and trusts as well as the USDA for upgrades to its heavily used commercial kitchen. They estimate that cost to be around $20,000.

Checks should be made out to The Farmington Grange #12 and mailed to Treasurer, Farmington Grange #12; 381 Mosher Hill Road, Farmington Maine 04938. $30 or a part of that will be gratefully received. And, if you’d like to be a member, contact Bonnie Clark at 778-6637.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email