Here is just a small sampling of the ways we have worked to preserve the Hawthorne House over the years.
Repairs and Improvements:
2016-2018 – Painting Repainting of the exterior was completed in 2016 and continued to hold up until 2018. Trustees scraped and painted the 1st floor interior windows in Sept. of 2017 and Abel Bates did touch-up painting of several interior wall areas where flaking had occurred.
2010-2015- Painting We began repainting the exterior in 2011. A great deal of time was spent repairing and re-glazing the windows, necessary because there are no storm windows to protect them from the elements. Before cold weather set in, our painter got most of the windows done, plus the front face of the house and the front door, which needed extensive refinishing due to mold. Abel Bates installed a basement ventilation system of his own design to reduce premature paint failure caused by moisture. Painting of two more sides was completed in Sept-Oct of 2012. We also had a granite slab engraved with a Hawthorne quote (“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind”). This has been set up between the garden and the house, near the red stone pathway.
2009 – Various projects Our fundraising campaign raised close to $10,000.
Corner post repair The work was completed in mid-October by Gorham contractor David Johnston for approximately $3,500, with Mr. Johnston contributing part of the work at no cost. Work was successful and within budget.
Electrical upgrades were completed for approximately $2,000 prior to the ‘08 Christmas party. This provided us with hot water for the first time in many years plus the ability to safely plug in 2 or 3 appliances without overloading the circuits. The former electrical system was ancient, inadequate in capacity, and without grounded outlets.
Improved entry area. A wall was been built to the right of the entrance separating a coat closet from the entry area. This provides a nicer looking entry and less congestion when people are coming and going. Work was done by Gary Conant.
Tree and shrub removal and new landscaping. The objective was to further reduce problems with moisture and rot by allowing the sun to penetrate and to improve drainage around the foundation. Two large trees were removed in late April, 2009 along with the lilacs and shrubs that hugged the foundation. A foundation border of crushed stone was added and it was decided that all new plantings will be at least 2 feet from the foundation, selecting only plants that will remain manageable in size. The Hawthorne Garden Club has greatly assisted in this effort.
New Sign Our neighbor Scott Crockett donated two granite pillars to provide a frame for our new sign. Abel Bates and Paul Tracy cooperated to find a sign maker, Custom Fabrication of Standish, and a beautiful new sign complete with lighting was completed just before Christmas.
Tree Removal – 2009
2007 – Rotten corner post During previous painting it was noted that the corner of the house to the left of the entry had some rotten wood. We hired carpenter Gary Conant to repair it but after a few hours he discovered that the damage was near total and that the structural work needed was beyond his capability. The entire corner post for the full height of the house was in need of replacement.
June, 2007 – Well repair was needed. Just before the Strawberry Festival we found that we had no water! Thanks to Jason Farthing we rigged up a temporary supply. Abel Bates and Paul Tracy took the lead to get this diagnosed and repaired, resulting in a new pump.
June, 2007 – Exterior Painting: The house was last painted around 1998, and was definitely ready to be done again. Thanks to a tip from town manager Don Willard, we contacted the Windham Correctional Facility last fall and they agreed to do the work for us this summer.
April, 2007 – Tree Removal: Thanks to Paul Tracy for managing the removal of some trees that were overwhelming the front of the house. This project was prompted by the natural death of a large spruce. We took advantage of the opportunity and also took out a large maple and a medium size cedar that had been planted less than 5 feet from the front corner of the house.
Before painting 2007
After painting 2007
September, 2004: Judith Bates, a talented friend and strong supporter of the Hawthorne House for many years, passed away. The Bates family generously directed part of the donations in Judith’s memory to our Association. There has been quite an outpouring of donations and we have used the funds (approximately $1,000) to purchase and dedicate the new front door for the Hawthorne House to Judith. Our sympathies and thanks to the Bates’.
Sept-Oct, 2004 – Repair of Front Door: Thanks to Paul Tracy, a very talented carpenter named Gary Conant has replaced the front door and sill. He has also repaired and repainted the all-important “sunburst” over the front door. He removed and replaced rotten sill all the way to the corners of the house. The new mahogany door looks fantastic! We also had the floor joists and supports in the basement treated for powder post beetles, which have taken their toll on the supports over the years. We decided to make this work a priority over the foundation repair (next item below) because it was more urgent. We were able to cover the total cost of about $7,000 out of funds we have saved from dues and donations over the last three years, so no special fund-raising will be needed.
Door Before 2004
Door – After 2004
2003 – To Date Foundation Repair: The foundation for this house consists of large stones (2 to 5 ft across) with little or no mortar holding them together. At the side of the house facing the brick walkway in particular, time has caused the stones to have shifted substantially, such that there is danger of losing support for the exterior wall. The other walls are only marginally better. Although the “poor condition” of the foundation had been mentioned in Association minutes as far back as 1965, the condition has only gotten worse. The ideal solution would be to jack up the house and replace the foundation entirely, but this would cost tens of thousands of dollars. A preliminary task of replacing the heating oil tank was accomplished in October, 2003 thanks very much to Carl Bloom. The old tank used to abut the caving wall and was at risk of being tipped over. With generous community support, and the help of a 2019 structural engineer’s report on the matter, it seems that this repair may finally be within sight.
2003 – Ventilation: Paul Tracy and John Manoush installed a large exhaust fan in one of the balcony windows just before the 2003 Strawberry Festival and it was a big help to temperature regulation.
2003 – New Sign: Thanks to the talents and generosity of member Cinda Roy, our “boyhood home” sign was replaced in June, 2003. Paul Tracy was the prime mover for the creation of the gorgeous new sign.
June, 2003 – Landscape border and fence: The Town of Raymond and the Hawthorne Board of Directors cooperated to install a post and rail fence, an attractive perennial border and a crushed stone path on the Cape Road side of the house. Special thanks to Abel Bates who did a large share of the coordinating involved.
February 20, 2003 – Former Hawthorne president Nelson Newton of Raymond passed away at the age of 88. His family has generously asked that contributions to the Hawthorne Community Association be made in lieu of flowers. On behalf of the Association I extend our sympathies and also thank Mr. Newton and his family for both past and present support of our efforts to preserve the Hawthorne House. A total of approximately $800 was donated by his many friends and family.
Nov., 2002 – Repair of Lights: We had the cracked and inoperative light to the right of the front entry repaired at a local metal shop. We also replaced the low voltage light at the well head in the center of the brick path. .
Nov., 2002 – Repair of Bulkhead: The wooden bulkhead entrance to the basement was rotting out. Thanks to Paul Tracy and Scott Crockett, this has been replaced with a pressure-treated version.
Thank you to all those who have helped to support the cost of repairs over the years. Our 2020-2021 Financial Campaign is a BIG effort to repair some of the ongoing structural problems of this historic building. When we began, it seemed like an impossibility to raise so much money. But thanks to your generous contributions, we are realizing our goals.