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More in Community
Hebron Historical Society has a new home
NEW HOME — Robert Swift and Bruce Conant, of the Hebron Historical Society, stand on the town office porch. Over their shoulders is the new home of the society, where all of Hebron’s history will finally be together for future generations to view.
HEBRON — The Hebron Historical Society has never had a home.
According to Bruce Conant, president, Hebron’s artifacts and books are stored all around Maine.
“But not for long; we have a new home!” he said. “Forever we have had to use a back room at the Brighton Hill School and many items are stored at people’s homes, not necessarily in Hebron.”
Robert Swift, vice president and treasurer, agrees.
“We’ve also had to turn down items, like a piano,” he said. “There just was no place to put everything. We have some really great maps, books and family papers and we’ve really needed to put it all together in one place.”
But owning a new home for Hebron’s history came at a loss to all of its members.
“Richard Bedford was a longtime member of the historical society,” said Conant. “He suddenly passed away last summer and his daughter offered to sell us the house, as she knew that’s what he would have wanted.”
“Bedford was a veteran,” added Swift. “And he did considerable research into area cemeteries and related genealogy, with special works of veteran burial sites.”
Both men agree that the timing couldn’t have been better.
“We had been looking for a place for a few years now,” said the president. “Things just came right into play; it’s a perfect spot right here at the center of town, obvious to townspeople going by.”
Now the vigorous fundraising begins.
“We bought it, closed on it and now we’re in debt,” said Conant. “We currently have a three-year, interest-only loan and hope to pay it off in full before we have to start paying on the principal.”
The total needed for the project is $50,000, which includes the purchase of the home, materials and labor to repair the building and a little extra for operating expenses.
“We’ve already gutted out the first floor,” said Swift. “And now we are in the process of electrical work and insulation. We plan on a display area on the first floor with a small room for research. And hopefully, a small area for local artisans to sell their wares.”
The upstairs will be used as office, storage and cataloging.
“It will be great to have everything up on the computer so things can be cataloged and people can look up family histories or know exactly where a document is located,” said the president.
“We’ve been led to believe when we have the space more items will come in,” added Swift. “One resident has already told us he has many items, plus once we have the space, we are hoping many will come forward with artifacts to either keep or have on loan.”
Fundraising has already begun.
“We started with a bake sale on election day,” said Conant. “People were so excited about the building … we even raised over $500; we couldn’t get enough food in the town office to sell.”
“Many people were just giving donations too,” Swift smiled. “They paid quite a bit for their cupcakes!”
A fundraising committee has been formed and upcoming events will include bottle drives, BBQ’s, suppers, auctions, telethons and even a Victorian Christmas tea.
The committee welcomes any and all ideas for raising money.
“We need pretty much everything actually,” said Swift. “We can use people to help with fundraisers, materials or labor on the building; anything to help us out we’d accept.”
Contributions can be made to the Hebron Historical Society, PO Box 294, Hebron, 04238; for credit card donations contact Daryel Duhaime at the Greenwood Mountain Inn, 966-2233. To join the historical society or help with fundraisers, contact Swift at 966-1076.