Mason: Plans to renovate town hall got boost from Old Home Day fundraising

  • The renovation project planned for Mason’s Town Hall got a boost for Old Home Day, as the renovation committee raised more than $7,000. Staff photo by Julia Stinneford

  • Mason's Town Hall, whose renovation is the fundraising goal of this year's Old Home Day.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/23/2021 2:43:31 PM

Mason’s Town Hall Restoration Committee raised $7,668.97 from the town’s Old Home Day. Now, committee member Barbara DeVore said that the next step is to raise more.

The renovations necessary to refurbish the Mason Town Hall are extensive and expensive, DeVore said. The building was first constructed in 1848, and has remained largely unchanged since then, with some additions for modernization such as a handicap ramp and kitchen improvements.

“We have to break the project into stages because it’s too large for a small town to do all at once,” DeVore said.

Stage one of the restoration will be focused on the underside of the building, which has suffered from extensive water damage. This will cost about $25,000 by itself, DeVore estimated.

They already have this stage out to bid, and the committee hopes that they will find a contractor for the job soon. Until then, DeVore said, more money will have to be raised.

In total, DeVore said that the full restoration will likely cost close to $200,000. This is because of the sheer number of projects, but also due to the trickiness of a few of them – namely, the roof repairs. The building’s entire roof will have to be removed in order to put proper support in for the second floor, which was added with no support from below and is suspended from the rafters. 

Beyond that, the projects are the “things that you would have to do if you were rehabbing a house,” said DeVore. This includes upgrades for the insulation and the windows, as well as smoothing out the floor and other cosmetic items.

Her dedication to this project, she said, came not only from her own connection to the town – having lived in Mason for 50 years – but also from the hall’s historical importance to the town.

“The town hall has been here for so long and it has such a rich history,” she said, “plus it gets used a lot.”

Since its construction, the town hall has been used for town offices, public gatherings and much more. It currently serves as a venue for town meeting, classes, town programming, school activities, voting, celebrations, and more. It was used for weddings and graduations in the past, and in 2018, the building was approved to be listed on the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places. 

Raising the funds is going to be a long and difficult journey, DeVore said, but the committee has been applying for many grants and seeking out fundraising ideas.

“This is going to take a long time, but we’ll stay at it,” DeVore said. 

One of their current funding avenues is Freedom’s Way, an association that seeks to support the preservation and conservation of historic places in small town communities. They have pledged $5,000 to the town hall renovation project, to be paid out over the entire course of the project.

Those interested in donating or learning more about the Mason Town Hall Renovation Committee can visit their website


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