The Washington Township Historical Commission is looking forward to spring renovations at historic buildings in the township.
“We have to make sure the buildings are maintained,” said commission Chairman Nicholas Appice. “If they are not maintained, they will just go into further disrepair, and either cost more money or the building might become structurally unsound.”
The last set of renovations occurred five years ago and included interior and exterior restoration of the post office and the Church at the Olde Stone House Village. Those two will again get upgrades, along with Quay House and the beehive oven attached to the Olde Stone House.
“The buildings will be getting wood repairs, stripped down, repainted, some soffit work, just exterior repairs,” Appice said. “The oven took a beating the last couple years … There is a type of plaster on the outside and it started cracking and flaking.”
The commission estimates renovations will total about $20,000. Normally, it uses money raised from yearly fundraising efforts to meet costs, but because of COVID, that fundraising was curtailed and the commission will need help to pay for the changes.
In order to get the much needed repairs done, the township has decided to step in and help offset the cost. The commission expects construction to be completed in May, weather permitting, and according to Appice, the historical sites will be open during the renovations.
According to the township, as of Feb. 10, trees have been trimmed at the top of the hill and around the site’s perimeter, debris near the firewood shed has been cleared and damaged fencing at the perimeter has been replaced. The township is waiting on quotes for the rest of the repairs.
“It is nice that the township is kicking in and working with us, because our fundraising efforts can’t support the village entirely,” Appice explained. “We have been lucky over the past few years to be able to maintain it just on the fundraising, but we just can’t keep up anymore.”
Although fundraising has been difficult, the commission looks forward to hosting its 14th annual Classic Car Show fundraiser on Saturday, April 30. The event will include new guest judges and trophies as well as more food trucks. The commission expects more than 200 cars and about 900 guests.
“Luckily for us, the only complaints we ever get about the show are the food truck lines,” said Appice. “We are adding another food truck, but space is tight. We will have two full food trucks which will be able to do breakfast sandwiches all the way through lunch. They are full-fledged food vendors.”
To participate in the car show, pre register through April 15 with forms available on the commission’s website. According to Appice, it is recommended participants register before the event to insure a spot. Participants can also register the day of, but organizers suggest a form be filled out before arriving.
Along with the car show, the commission wants to host a craft fair and another Plein Air Art festival at some point this spring.
For more information about the commission, car show and other upcoming events, visit https://www.oldestonehousehistoricvillage.org.