On Tuesday, Nov. 21 crews were scheduled after press time to lower two 60-foot long corner posts down into the tower base of the historic Meetinghouse at First Parish Church.
“The day will start early, and the posts will likely get installed about 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., said Paul Lindemann, a member of the church rehabilitation committee and Derry Heritage Commission said.
He also mentioned a recent development with the non-profit group the Friends of the Meetinghouse at First Parish.
”We recently got IRS 501(c)(3) approval for the new fundraising-focused nonprofit the Friends of the Meetinghouse at First Parish,” Lindemann said.
He added that the organization has a growing board of directors and is rolling out some fundraising drives, premiering at the church’s Sugar Plum Fair that was scheduled to be held on Saturday Nov. 18.
Originally built in 1769, the church meetinghouse has undergone a number of changes in the past few centuries.
The stained glass windows have been reinstalled, and the renovation is taking shape, Lindemann said in an interview earlier this spring.
“The Meetinghouse is in a beautiful state, with features like the original 1769 floor boards still exposed,” Lindemann said.
Last year, the Meetinghouse was lifted to build a new foundation under the historic structure.
Using special hydraulic jacks, crews lifted the massive white building above the old foundation over a four-hour period. The construction crews from Geddes Building Movers in Bow eventually lifted the building to a height of about four feet.
Two systems of hydraulic jacks, involving 12 pumps on each side fed by a master cylinder were used in the lift, Lindemann said.
Crews installed a 48-inch deep cement frost wall perimeter foundation, with suitable footings and a protective slab in the resulting crawlspace floor, Lindemann said.
The project is part of a multi-year rehabilitation effort.
“What we are doing with rehabilitation is making the building useable in a modern way but honoring the historic methods and materials,” Lindemann said.
In 2015, the top of the church tower was removed for repairs.
When it was built, there wasn’t a separation of church and state consideration and the building served as both a sanctuary as well as town offices and a library, Lindemann said.