With weather improvements expected in the next few weeks, Steilacoom Historical Museum Association (SHMA) members are getting ready to continue efforts to restore the Wagon Shop located adjacent to the Orr House and museum building in the historic area of Steilacoom, according to Joan Shalikashvili, association president.
According to SHMA volunteer French Wetmore, SHMA received a $5,000 Historical Preservation Grant from Pierce County to help finance the restoration work. The grant will be used to fund new windows for the building. In addition to the new windows, restoration plans call for replacing the aging roof with new cedar shakes. The total project is expected to cost more than $15,000, according to Wetmore.
Members of SHMA and other community – minded individuals have hand cut cedar shakes for the roof and that work will continue this spring. Not only are the shakes being hand made, the labor to replace the roof will also be primarily donated by volunteers. Jack Brake pointed out that the hand-cut shakes also are giving people an opportunity to see how cedar shakes were made years ago. It is virtually a lost art, he explained, and the hand tools needed for the work are rapidly vanishing.
Russ Cable has been obtaining bids for replacing the windows with Brake in charge of making sure the cedar shakes are all ready for the roofing work.
Shalikashvili also reported that the museum will end its winter hours in April and will resume its weekend open hours.