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Be an Angel: Roof restored on historical Waterford house

A violent windstorm in early March tore cedar shingles in several places from the roof of the historic 1838 Beebe-Phillips House on Jordan Green in Waterford. The building is one of three owned by the nonprofit Waterford Historical Society.

Historical society member and groundsperson Paul Grover alerted board members immediately about the serious damage. In rapid response to prevent any further damage to the building’s exterior and interior, Grover and a team of three members, Nick Conselmo, Kael Wiersch and Charlie Sedell, analyzed how best to address the problem.

To collect any water that might enter through the holes in the attic ceiling, receptacles were placed within a day. The men created patches of wood, shingles, plastic sheeting and other materials and climbed ladders to cover the holes in the roof to keep out elements until proper repairs could be made. The ceiling of one parlor was water-stained due to roof damage, and likely required repair.

The society’s officers began meeting immediately to address the situation. Its insurance policy covered this type of wind and storm damage to the roof and parlor ceiling, funding repairs.

Connecticut Restoration was selected for the exterior work, which began on May 20.

The entire roof was replaced and restored with cedar shingles in keeping with the building’s historic nature. The work was completed prior to the society’s guide training on June 5 and the “Second Saturday” building tours of its historical buildings to follow the Waterford Day Parade on June 12. Harbour Painting will repaint the parlor ceiling.

Yet the insurance coverage fell short of the actual costs of restoration. Then, in early May, the society received an unexpected contribution of $5,000 from an anonymous donor. Other costs came out of the society’s own funds.

So the Waterford Historical Society is seeking donations to continue maintaining its buildings and historic materials and to keep Waterford’s history intact. Checks can be made out to Waterford Historical Society Inc. and sent to P.O. Box 117, Waterford, CT 06385.

Holly Camerota is publicity chair for the Waterford Historical Society.

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