Questers’ renovation project progresses

The Hetty Elizabeth Beatty No. 1419 Chapter of the Questers is continuing with its plans to make improvements to the old stone chapel building at Union Cemetery.

Phase two of improvements recently was completed and involved shoring up the building and installing seven metal piers. The building was raised about one-fourth of an inch by Matthews Wall Anchor and Waterproofing Services of Beaver Falls, Pa., in mid-September.

The two-man team dug down approximately 10 feet to check the stone and lift the building, according to Questers member Edna Walley.

That cost $8,065.

“With the help of $7,000 from the Charles M. and Thelma M. Pugliese Charitable Foundation and donations from as far away as Jacksonville, Fla., and Connecticut, along with local interested citizens, we have almost reached our goal. We’re still $165 short for this phase,” Walley said, noting the Pugliese foundation donation was made during a Questers meeting in September by foundation representative Bill McElwain.

“If it weren’t for that, we couldn’t have gotten the most important phase accomplished,” Walley said of the foundation donation.

The building was constructed in 1892 by William Dryer, a German immigrant and stone mason and great-grandfather of Richmond resident Peggy Palmer, Walley said the Questers have come to learn.

Questers are part of an international organization that encourages the preservation and restoration of historical landmarks, according to the International Questers website.

So plans were made by the end of 2012 to forge ahead with such an undertaking in 2013.

Windows and doors are anticipated to need attention as well.

“This was the original office at Union Cemetery,” said Walley, who noted the first Jefferson County Courthouse bell hangs in the belfry.

Phase one of the restoration launched this year was completed in May. It included repairing the slate roof, sealing some cracks, new gutters and down spouts. Chapter members and volunteers tore down the 1950s-era paneling and ceiling and old flooring. In front of the building two dead trees were removed by Union Cemetery.

Phase three will involve repointing the stone and power washing the building at the estimated cost of $1,800.

Phase four will entail repairing the windows, door, ceiling, floor and walls at an estimated cost of $3,800.

Future endeavors will be getting the bell – the first Jefferson County Courthouse bell – in working order and placing an 1800s-era desk and pot belly stove inside.

Last but not least will be landscaping – planting new shrubbery around the foundation.

To make a donation toward the building restoration, checks can be made out to Questers H.E.B. Chapter and sent c/o the Pugliese Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 2620, Wintersville, OH 43953.

Donations are tax-deductible.

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