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Grant will help with Cobblestone Church roof and tower study

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 June 2013 at 12:00 am

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

GAINES – The most prominent building in the Cobblestone Society Museum, the Universalist Church from 1834, needs roof and tower repairs.

The museum has received a matching $1,000 “Sacred Sites Grant” from the New York Landmarks Conservancy. The grant will go towards a survey to determine the repairs needed for the roof and tower.

The church is used for a variety of historical programs, services and weddings every year.

“Preserving this unique piece of cobblestone heritage is vital for future generations to enjoy,” said Deborah Brundage, the museum’s director. “The Cobblestone Society wishes to thank The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program for their support in this endeavor.”

The eight-building museum was established in 1960 to preserve the oldest cobblestone church in North America and to collect and disseminate information on cobblestone masonry construction.

In 1993, the U.S. Department of the Interior declared the collection of buildings a National Historic Landmark, the only historic site in Orleans County with this designation.

A cobblestone house from 1836, which was once owned by the famous publisher Horace Greeley, is next to the church.These two buildings are furnished to show how they would have been used in the 1880s. A few buildings east on 104 sits a one-room cobblestone schoolhouse from 1849.

The museum also includes four wooden buildings on Route 98, just north of 104. They include a blacksmith shop, print shop, harness shop and an exhibit hall of 19th century farming tools. A brick house from 1836 also serves as a resource center on the 1,200 cobblestone buildings in North America.

The museum opens its season June 23 and runs until Sept. 1. It’s open every day but Monday during the summer. For more information on the museum, click here.