With the objective of completing work on the rehabilitation of the First Parish Church Meetinghouse in time to celebrate of the 300th Anniversary of Nutfield in the spring 2019, crews have been working to replace some of the main structure beams that had rotted over the years.
On Tuesday morning, Nov. 21 crews from the Preservation Timber Framing Inc. lowered two 60-foot long corner posts, weighing 2000 pounds each, by crane into the tower base of the historic Meetinghouse steeple.
The two massive 12”x12”x60’ beams were planed down on-site and fitted into the area where the old rotted beams once helped hold the steeple in place.
Also placed that day was a square “top plate” above the clock which the steeple will sit on once work has been finished restoring it.
The two beams, which are the main vertical supports, were harvested from white pine trees out of Danville, Vermont where they were cut and milled and brought to East Derry for the project.
When work started on this project, over two years ago, the price tag was about $2 million, and another $500,000 has been added since.
Fund raising, donations and LCHIP grants have made up for most of the costs for this huge preservation project.
It is the hope of those associated with the project that work on the structural rehabilitation will be completed over the winter. Then work will begin on the Meetinghouse interior.