A national historic site in Greater Napanee is getting a facelift.
The Old Hay Bay Church is showing its age and in need of some TLC. The church, built in 1792, was constructed on private property by people who wanted a spiritual and community place for their families.
Elaine Farley, restoration committee chair, says that after 227 years, phase one of the restoration is seeing the exterior siding being replaced.
“Because the building has no heating or cooling, it is exposed to the elements year round and that’s hard on any wood structure — especially with our changing climate,” Farley said.
“So we have noticed in the last two or three years that there has been a more rapid deterioration of the exterior siding.”
Farley says this is at least the third time that the exterior siding has been replaced, the last being in 1974.
Phase two of the restoration project to Canada’s oldest surviving Methodist church will happen inside, and Farley says there are a number of things that will need to be done there.
“The plaster work on the walls has had a bit of cracking and a slight bit of water damage prior to the siding being fixed, so we’re looking at that being redone and then re-painted,” Farley said.
“We’re also looking at having the ceiling being done and creating a new, more condensed display area so that the museum has a place but doesn’t take away from the front to the pulpit to the sanctity of the church.”
The total cost of the two-phase upgrade is $300,000. Farley says the campaign has already raised $207,000.