November, 2010 – 1948 Parish House Collapse

In the winter of year 1948 what happened? Yes, the Parish House roof collapsed. I will write what happened during that harsh snowy winter.

On January 30, 1948 it was noticed by Mr. Sporin that beams were sagging. Mr. Hart Curry put in some reinforcements. Saturday, February 1st Mr. Curry, Mr. Keller, Mr. Lee and Mr. Lee Jr. hauled snow from the roof on the east side from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM; Mr. Heisler and Fred Sporin continued until noon. Church was over and everyone went home. Sometime after, the roof collapsed. Mr. Lee and others spent the rest of the afternoon and after dinner cleaning and pushing down remaining walls, it was cold. February 5th the trustees met, discussed plans, and a building committee was appointed. February 7th men met for work to clean and cover the floor for preserving it. With Mr. Weyants’ tractor, they cleared roof debris from the floor and cleared away all remaining portions of walls and vestibule. They returned after church with the floor cleared and dried. They laid roofing material and tacked it down, covering the exposed part of the kitchen. Did what they could weather permitting. It was clear and very cold.
In April, there was a benefit for the Churches’ Restoration fund. The Chapel of the Good Shepherd in Granite Springs and St. Mary’s Church in Mohegan were the sponsoring organizations. The benefit aided the fundraising efforts of the Yorktown Presbyterian Church and the Shrub Oak Methodist Church to replace their auxiliary buildings which were destroyed by snow that winter.

It said in their brochure, “Our financial Goal is $10,000. We have now from the Mt. Vernon Trust fund $3,092, the benefit raised $422, donations to date $226, contributions from the Ladies Aide $1,500, totaling $5,240.00. We still need $4,760. Fortunately the kitchen and equipment and new furnace were uninjured. A great deal of volunteer labor is being furnished by members and friends”.

According to the work ledger, each person’s name and hours worked were recorded, about ten to fifteen hours worked each day. Most of the work was on Saturdays. Donations were received over a period of 3 years. Some paid labor was used to help speed up the raising of the roof girders and the roof. November 1950 saw the parish House completed.

Information on the Parish Hall will be posted on the history bulletin board.

Dick Hunter