Restored cupola tops historic South Hero building - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Restored cupola tops historic South Hero building

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Since 1816, the big white building has sat on Route 2 in South Hero.

"I learned how to square dance in that building," said Susan Crowley of South Hero.

Now, the building filled with so much history is getting a restored cupola.

"It has a lot of pretty ornate architectural details," Bret Corbin said.

Corbin began the restoration project three years ago, raising money from the community. The town also received $50,000 in grants from Vermont Preservation Trust to bring the two-century old building back to life.

After construction of the building in the early 1800s, the building was used as a church. It later became a school house. Today, it's used as a shop to help raise money for the community.

But Corbin knew he couldn't take this project on alone.

"We had a lot of different activities where kids would come and learn about the building and then take their knowledge out into the community to let people know that this was really important," he said.

Students from the Folsom Educational Center lent a hand, painting the 200-year-old boards used to build the cupola.

"It's been part of South Hero's history for a long time and it's just really important to us," said Erin Heslop, a student.

And for some residents who went to grade school here in the early 1900s, seeing students help make the restoration possible has been priceless.

"It's wonderful to see it put back in its original form," Crowley said.

But the work isn't done yet.

"We've got to finish the shake on the bottom portion, we've got to finish the lumber panels so the bell can be heard, and do all the slate work on top of the roof to tie it all together," Corbin said.

Beginning next spring, the town hopes to receive another grant to finish restorations and preserve this piece of South Hero history for centuries to come.

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