Water damages priceless pieces of history at Vt. library - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Water damages priceless pieces of history at Vt. library

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Sherburne Memorial Library Director Gail Weymouth was just on her way to work Dec. 16 when she got a call she was never expecting from an employee.

"There's water coming out of the ceiling in the Vermont room and she said that you know, this pipe had burst and that water was pouring out," Weymouth said.

"When we came in we saw water on the carpet and heard water gushing in the Vermont room," said Sharon Van Niel, a library clerk.

Van Niel was there and said their major concern was historical memorabilia that was displayed in that room. The water came down from the ceiling, getting into a glass case where many of the special historical items were displayed on the shelves.

Weymouth says it was the solder joint in a pipe that had failed due to bitter subzero temperatures that day, allowing some very special items to get drenched.

"Some first edition books and then there were some journals and there was a baptismal gown," Weymouth said.

All historically significant mementos of Killington's past, including a 150-year-old quilt.

"As soon as we were able, as we could get to the case, we started removing the items and laying them out to dry," Van Niel said.

Weymouth says the value of the items is about $20,000, but some testaments to Killington's past cannot be given a dollar amount.

"Some things, you know, are priceless," she said. "And there's no way to get the value of them, you know, that's the hardest thing."

The library has now started repairs and awaits word from a paper conservator to give them an estimate and see what can be restored.

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