I thought the restoration was going to take a lot longer. I thought they would need at least a year, probably two. But they got it done in just six months. The guys doing the work were there every day, really working, a rare sight for a work crew! The property is now owned by a small consortium and they put up the money. It looks great.
They added heat and plumbing. It’s really a perfect 19th century classic small town Unitarian church. Also, it’s the tallest building in town. You can see it from almost anywhere including the woods along the Mumford River. It has always been the home of Uxbridge’s official town clock. It hasn’t been reinstalled yet. It’s undergoing its own repair and restoration. Everyone is very fond of that clock and it’s called “OUR clock,” even though there are three other big clocks in shouting distance. But this is OUR clock.
Even during its lost years when all of us were afraid it would burn down or fall down, someone went up there to wind it, reset the time, and correct it for Daylight and Standard times.
We are late-comers having been here a mere 21 years, but Garry isn’t considered a stranger because he used to cover stories in Uxbridge. Does he remember the stories he covered? No, but he also forgot that he spent a day with Paul Newman in Boston. He covered a lot of stories and met probably half the state’s population.
This is a perfect little church. It only holds about 200 people with its pews in place. When it had a bell, it was beautiful when it tolled. I hope they restore the bell.
So now, the church is beautiful again. I’m very happy.
The rest of the Common was decorated by one lady with her love and her own money and time. She also pays for the annual Christmas parade.
On the Common, we have reindeer and Santa, plus lights in the big oak trees plus a few Christmas trees scattered around. The World War II howitzer gun is missing. While the church was falling apart, under its annual paint job, the howitzer was dying of rust — so now it too is being restored. There’s a collection for it.
I have mixed feelings about big guns, but it’s part of the town and has been here for a long time. Also, there was a huge fight before it was set up between the guy who had it and wanted to put it on the Common and the people at Town Hall who thought it was too big and would take up too much room. Both had point. When finally the man with the artillery took the day, his donation included a section demanding the gun always face Town Hall.
How I love all these old stories about people who lived here. There are so many stories! We’d have talked longer, but it had turned wintry. Our hands were frozen and there weren’t going to be any more pictures. You know those gloves that say you can handle electronic devices while wearing them? They are lying.
We needed to go home, offload the groceries — and get warm!