$12K grant will help Cobblestone Museum with work at Vagg House

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 August 2022 at 2:36 pm

File photo: The Cobblestone Museum acquired the Vagg House in 2020 at the southwest corner of routes 98 and 104.

CHILDS – The Cobblestone Society has been approved for an award of $12,000 for building restoration from the Rochester Area Community Foundation, museum director Doug Farley has announced.

Erin Anheier, president of the Cobblestone Society board of trustees, wrote the grant. She is also on the board of the Landmark Society of Western New York in Rochester.

“Erin has been writing our RACF preservation grant since 2018, and this is her fifth successful grant request,” Farley said. “Grants have totaled more than $80,000 toward preservation of our 10 historic buildings.”

The grant will fund a project to correct various structural issues with the 19th century Vagg house and barn, which are eligible for inclusion on the National Historic Register, along with needed maintenance on the National Historic Landmark Cobblestone Church.

The Vagg barn is an appurtenant structure on the property eligible for National Historic Register designation. The first floor will be jacked up in the middle to remove sagging of the floor as much as possible. Three 2” x 8” x 10’ white oak boards will be overlapped and joined together with ½-inch bolts and nuts to create a continuous new support beam, Farley explained. The board will be rough-sawn for appropriate appearance in the historic structure. Four steel joist hangers will be installed on existing floor joists connecting them to the new header.

Existing basement sliding doors and metal track will be removed and six-foot long pressure-treated boards will be installed vertically at each side of the door opening and attached to the foundation with tapcons. The doors will be reinstalled with the track attached to the side of the building with new galvanized bolts. Loose mortar on the interior of the basement walls will also be removed and the areas patched, replacing missing or loose stones. A pressure-treated 2” x 8” x 12-foot perimeter board will be installed on the north wall to replace the rotted one.

Also addressed will be the driveway, which slopes toward the barn, causing rainwater to pool at the north doors. This has resulted in the north perimeter board deteriorating and damage to the masonry below. Work will include installing a drain in the channel, which will be cut through to the retaining wall, and the water will be carried away by a drain on the west side of the building. Extensive gutter work will also be done.

The exterior of the barn will be power washed, hand scraped and caulked where needed. All bare wood will be primed and windows will be reglazed where needed.

On the Vagg house, storm windows and sills will be scraped, primed, painted and reglazed as needed. Gutters will also be cleaned and new gutter guards installed.

Repair to the Vagg barn will allow it to be used as a new gallery to display the Museum’s collection of 19th and early 20th century transportation devices, some of which are currently in storage. It will also assure the barn will retain structural integrity for many decades.

Painting of the windows of the Vagg house will help preserve the historic wooden windows and keep the appearance of the building appropriate for the time period it represents, Farley said.

Its gutters and those on the 1834 Cobblestone Church will also be cleaned and have gutter guards installed.

Farley added that the Cobblestone Society presented the RACF “Community Partner of the Year” award in 2018 for its philanthropic efforts on behalf of the Cobblestone Museum and Orleans County.

RACF will celebrate its 50th anniversary in September and honored the Cobblestone Museum, which it included in its “Gifts for Good” program, offering complementary admission to the Museum for everyone who visits for their fall open house Sept. 10.

Farley said the Museum is hoping for a record attendance on that day. The event is free to the public and RACF will pay the full cost of admission ($9 per person) for all visitors that day.

“We would like to see more than 1,000 people attend the Open House Sept. 10 to take full advantage of RACF’s Gift for Good program,” Farley said.