Jefferson Township Museum Renovation 2007

The Jefferson Museum looks very different today, both inside and out, from how it appeared in March 2007. Almost a year prior, October 12, 2006, an estimate was obtained from L. Schuyler Martin, Jr. for repair work to the exterior and interior of the building. Approval from the township came the following spring and work began in May 2007.

Before anything could be done inside, however, the Museum needed to be emptied. A dedicated group of members packed up all of the collections, moved furniture, dismantled mirrors, and packed pictures so he could begin his work. Martin pitched in to move and cover the largest pieces of furniture.

The work lasted through a very hot summer. Martin was contracted for exterior restoration of 10 of the Museum's windows and exterior fascia board as well as repair of the gingerbread work. Martin also repaired the plaster of three interior walls which had water damage. The front bedroom interior window frames was painstakingly and beautifully restored.

With the completion of the contracted work in July, we began discussions on using this opportunity to research and renovate the entry way, the two rooms on the first floor, the stairway, second floor hallway and the three rooms on the second floor. This work became a work of restoration as research on color, finishes, and materials became our guidelines. Scraping, sanding, repairing, painting and refinishing by members and volunteers continued almost daily throughout the summer and into the early fall.

While work on the building was progressing, the Museum Garden Club began transforming the presence of the building through Victorian garden design. New plantings were put in and others were transplanted after careful research was done. Four window boxes were hand-designed, constructed and installed. Hardscape was added across the front to welcome visitors. A rose trellis and decorative fencing added to the blossoms. The building got a "thumbs-up" from the local newspaper, Aim Action News, from a resident who lingered a bit longer at the new stop sign to enjoy looking at the new image.

A new exterior sidewalk, landing, and steps were designed and put in by mason and contractor Victor E. Simonelli in September. He included the date and a Thomas Jefferson coin in the cement with his name.

With the interior work almost completed, everything that had been stored, boxed and crated was moved back into the building.

The redesign of the rooms, following our research guidelines, allows guests to sense the theme of the house as a representation of late 19th century life in the Milton section of the Township of Jefferson.

Without the following individuals and groups, this project would never have come to fruition. Their dedication has enabled the Jefferson Township Museum to retain its charm and beauty for future generations.

Christine Williams, President
Jefferson Township Historical Society

Carol Keppel, restoration researcher and coordinator
Mary Parr Lynda MacDonald Cliff Williams
Marilyn Rietzel Bob Keppel Larry Parr
Gloria Mikowski Bob Headley  
Junior Women's Club Garden Club of Milton PNJ Landscaping - Paul Johnson
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Jefferson Township Family and Friends

And the dedicated and creative members of the Museum Garden Club