Friday, October 8, 1999
Wilson Chapel to undergo renovations
Renovations will soon begin on the 92-year-old Wilson Chapel at the Green Cemetery. On the recommendation of building inspector Bob Koning, the selectmen voted on September 28 to transfer $21,600 from the cemetery lots fund for the purpose of making the chapel once again available for use by townspeople for memorial services.
Koning told the selectmen that, at the request of the Carlisle Historical Society, he had undertaken a review of the condition of the Wilson Chapel, built in 1907. Koning stated that the department of public works has received requests from townspeople to use the building for services, but that this is not possible due to the disrepair of the building and for obvious safety reasons.
The frame of the chapel is in excellent condition, said Koning, but the roof leaks, the stairwell is unusable and there is insect infestation in the main beam. Renovations will include refinishing the hardwood floor, painting the walls, repairing the existing basement stairs, installing a new concrete floor in the basement, patching the slate roof by the door, repairing the pulpit and fixing the wood ceiling. The building inspector also recommended, and the bids anticipated, installing an oil-fired hot air heating system, electric service with lights and outlets and a water line in the trench.
The building inspector obtained three bids for the project at $16,600, $16,870, and $20,750. Koning recommended going with the lowest bid and adding a $5,000 contingency fund. Based on figures received from town accountant Sarah Andreassen, Koning said that the project could be financed from the three existing cemetery funds: sale of cemetery lots which has a current balance of $52,900, perpetual care with a balance of $20,000, and the Green Cemetery fund with a balance of $3,800.
The chapel is exempt from the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is a historic structure, said Koning.
While inspecting the property, Koning discovered some items of historic interest. In the basement, was the original brass chandelier which he believed was lit with candles, and he also found what he described as a mahogany port-a-potty. There is also an old organ in the chapel which could be restored.
Although Koning indicated that the scope of future renovations is at the discretion of the selectmen, he concluded, "When someone goes to the trouble of giving this kind of money, we ought to maintain it, or at least bring it up to code."
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito