Historic, colorful windows are back in place at Epsom Old Meetinghouse
Published: 11-27-2023 3:13 PM
Modified: 11-27-2023 4:53 PM
In a process that began 15 years ago and cost more than $50,000, the eight stained glass windows that first adorned the Epsom Old Meetinghouse 162 years ago are back in place, restored, operational and ready to usher in a new era of color and spirit to the historic structure.
The final window was restored and replaced this month following a contribution of $9,225 earlier this year from the New Hampshire State Council for the Arts Moose Plate Grant.
The project began a year after the Meetinghouse was moved down Route 4 in 2007 to its current location near the town library.
In 2008, $10,000 was received in a Moose Plate Grant to repair two of the windows that were broken due to vandalism.
Work on the other six began in 2019 following an additional grant of more than $40,000.
All the windows needed re-leading, the installation of new tie wires, putty, the re-glazing of the panels and weather stripping.
The windows are now in place and fully functional, able to open and close like they did decades ago.
The windows are part of an overall restoration project created by the Epsom Old Meetinghouse Revitalization Committee. The Meetinghouse was built in 1861 and was formerly known as the Free Will Baptist Church.
The Meetinghouse Revitalization Committee, chaired by longtime resident Debbie Sargent, is made up of volunteers whose work to develop the building into a community space will benefit Epsom as well as surrounding communities.
The inside still needs work before the Meetinghouse can open and return to its former splendor.
“The New Hampshire State Council for the Arts has been a major supporter of the project, and private donations are still needed to finish the work,” said Selectwoman Virginia Drew, who’s evolved into the spokeswoman for the committee. “Through the efforts of various town committees, grants and donations, the building has received renovations and restorations with the hope of having the entire building available for community use within the upcoming year.”
The final phase of the project includes septic system work, bathroom plumbing, and handicap accessibility.
Sash and Solder of Portsmouth have handled the specialized restoration of the windows.
“Their work makes the stained glass windows not only stable and usable, but restores their beauty for the next 100 years,” said a press release issued by the town.
For a look at the restored windows, check the Town of Epsom’s website at epsomnh.org.