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DAR gives grant to fix roof on Cobblestone Church

Posted 25 April 2014 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – The Cobblestone Society Museum has been awarded a grant to fix the roof on the Cobblestone Universalist Church, a building from 1834 that is part of the museum near the intersection of routes 98 and 104.

Press release
Cobblestone Society Museum

Last week Cobblestone Museum board president Susan Rudnicky received word from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) that the museum was approved for a $6, 100 grant toward the roof repair of the Cobblestone Church.

“Seeking funding to maintain and preserve the historic structures at the Cobblestone Museum is always a challenge,” stated Rudnicky. “This year we were fortunate to receive funding from several sources and the recent news about the DAR Special Projects Grant means that we will be moving ahead on our roof repair project.”

Other funding sources for the roof project include the Sacred Sites program, the Curtis Foundation, and a charitable bequest by Merwin “Tyke” Staines. Former museum director C.W. Lattin recalled that Tyke was a volunteer at the museum since the 1990s and he was always willing to help when and where needed. Tyke often worked in the gift shop and took care of minor repairs around the properties according to Lattin.

Lattin, whose father helped establish the Cobblestone Museum, also held several local folklore storytelling events to raise funds for the roof repair. As an active board member and docent for the museum, Lattin regularly explains to visitors, “The Cobblestone Church is one of the foremost historic sites in our region and we are committed to preserving and investing in our historic properties for future generations to appreciate.”

Built in 1834, the Cobblestone Church is the oldest cobblestone church in North America and is the cornerstone of the museum complex in Gaines. The Cobblestone Society Museum was established in 1960 to collect and disseminate information on the unique form of cobblestone masonry construction that grew in popularity in the forty years prior to the Civil War. This form of masonry is found primarily in New York State and the resource center at the museum serves as the North American center for education on cobblestone buildings.

The grant received from the DAR is part of the Special Grants program that provides financial support to local community projects which exemplify the Society’s three mission areas – historic preservation, education and patriotism. As regent of the local DAR chapter that endorsed the application request, Patrice Birner remarked, “The Orleans Daughters wholeheartedly support this project. We recognize the importance of preserving this National Historic Landmark which draws visitor to Orleans County and the Western New York region.”

Museum leaders anticipate the project to be completed by the end of the summer.