Work begins on gazebo honoring Don Dunlap in Antrim

  • The floor of the Don Dunlap Memorial Gazebo at James A. Tuttle Library in Antrim. —PHOTO COURTESY RICK WOOD

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/18/2022 3:17:35 PM
Modified: 5/18/2022 3:15:49 PM

Before too much longer, the gazebo honoring the late Don Dunlap at James A. Tuttle Library in Antrim could be visible on the knoll in front of the library.

“It should be a good view as people come into town,” said Rick Wood, chairman of the library trustees.

When Dunlap died in 2009, he left donations to the library and the Antrim Historical Society, without any conditions, so the two organizations decided to join forces for a gazebo after Wood saw the one the Bennington Historical Society had built. The idea appealed to both organizations, because Dunlap was known for his woodworking skill, including making cabinets without nails or screws.

The organizations worked with Amish Country Gazebos in Manheim, Pa., which lets customers design their own gazebos. Approximately 20 people weighed in on the design, and Wood consolidated their efforts before ordering the structure in December.

“It really was a collaborative event,” Wood said. “Hopefully, everybody will be happy with what they did.”

The pieces for the gazebo arrived May 10. Since all the pieces were pre-drilled and pre-cut, Wood calls the work of putting it together more of an “assembly” than a “construction.” Dunlap’s nephew, John Dunlap, and John’s grandson are directing the effort.

A crew started the assembly over the weekend, but Wood said they were only able to get the floor in between the heat and the need to unpack the pieces and put everything they weren’t using in the library. Wood said the plan for this week is to work with the electrician on lights and get the post, railing and benches installed, prior to capping off the project this weekend.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to have a community roof-raising over the weekend,” he said.

Although it is separate from the gazebo because the funds are not needed for that project, the library is also selling engraved bricks that will be used for a walkway between the library and the gazebo. People can choose between two sizes, one being a 4- by 8-inch brick for $30 that offers three lines of text of 18 characters apiece, including spaces. The other option is an 8- by 8-inch brick with six lines of text for $70.

Order forms are available at the library or bricksrus.com/donorsite/bricksfortuttle, and the deadline is July 1.

Funds from the sales will be used toward future library and historical society programming, Wood hopes assembling the gazebo will kickstart the process.

“Once the gazebo gets a little more in view, I think that will push that process,” Wood said. “We’ve already seen an uptick in the brick orders.”

The gazebo will be too small for large programs, Wood said, but he hopes people will come there to sit and read, perhaps with a coffee and pastry in hand. Wood added that the library will try to make a big deal of the gazebo at the town’s Home and Harvest Festival in September, and “we certainly envision something like a Christmas tree in December.”


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