The concrete landing the masons of Lincoln Lodge No. 3 poured a half century ago and the copper hurricane lamp that has long lighted the lodge’s door will still be part of the building at 17 Fort Hill St., Wiscasset. And there’s still the harbor view from that landing and through the windows of the hall upstairs.
But members said thanks to donations, fundraising at the recent cornhole tournament at Ames True Value Supply, and members contributing out of their pockets and through their labor, the windows and some other things will be new on the former home, bank and school.
Work started the weekend of Sept. 29; by Saturday morning, Oct. 5, the landing had what members said were composite pillars and a wooden overhang. Lodge master Dave Sawyer said members don’t have to work in masonry to belong; but they are all bringing their skills and knowledge in building, electrical work and other fields to the project.
“We’re very excited about it,” Sawyer said after grinding down some metal left from a rail, to seat a new one. “Not only will (the project) enhance the looks of the lodge but it’ll protect the building – just huge benefits all around.”
Members said the project is taking care of issues like heaved steps and moisture getting in, and might save the lodge some money.
“We’ve got 28 windows to replace in all,” none original to the building, Sawyer said. “We’re hoping that (besides) looks and durability, it will help our oil bill.” They will be energy-efficient, he said.
Member Greg Curtis showed the Wiscasset Newspaper inside to see the lamp Sawyer estimated at 100 years old. “I just think it’s fascinating,” Curtis said. “It’s going to be all refurbished.”
“We’re trying to get umpteen coats of paint off it,” Sawyer said. He said the masons converted the oil or candle lamp many years ago to electric.
The lodge plans an open house later this year.
According to Wiscasset Historic Preservation Commission’s Facebook page, the building dates to 1785 and once housed Wiscasset Academy.
Lincoln Lodge No. 3, chartered in 1792, is believed to be Maine’s oldest lodge of masons, members have said.