It has been a few months since we have updated everyone on our news by way of column and blog.
The newsletter went out in late November and brought in nearly 350 renewals to membership, to add to our existing pool of life members.
We are indebted to all of our supporters!
The next quarterly newsletter is in the works and, under the lead of Sharon Turo, will go out on time before March 1.
In late October and early November, the long-planned roof replacement began.
The lower half of the full upper roof was removed and new decking and weather sheeting applied before the new rolled roofing.
The roof was done following a board accepted bid from Parla Construction of Mexico.
The company also replaced the north and south roof drains, and augmented the middle drain.
We will retain their services for completion of the upper portion of the roofing this spring.
All work was done under the expert watch and inspection of our “in house engineer” Boylston Trustee Marcy Newman.
Some touchups will need to be done to parapet seams in the spring as the last work was done in cold weather.
Heat tape was applied to all roof drains and helped with the drainage through this difficult winter.
One drain froze as tape was unplugged, and caused some serious leaks and damage in the northwest classroom used by the Pulaski Lions Club.
On January 30, during the thaw, the roofing company returned and replaced the cracked drain and all has been well since then.
During heavy snow load Shawn Doyle shoveled a 20-foot running swath across the low points around the three drains.
During the thaw, the snow was all gone from the roof.
The next great project to be undertaken is the installation of the new flooring in the main hall and hallways on the first floor.
That is hopefully set to occur in the next couple weeks, with work to be done by the accepted bid of Bridge Street Carpets in Pulaski.
This work will be mainly covered by a generous grant received from the Greater Pulaski Community Fund in 2017.
Some issues arose this fall and winter with our furnaces.
The drain line for condensation froze in the north unit, while the central air in the south unit was discovered in late summer to be unconnected behind the new sheetrock.
Both furnaces are planned to be moved and reconnected in 2018 as funds allow, and new connections and supply lines placed.
In research: We are conducting a full inventory of our genealogical holdings right now.
We now expect to have surpassed 800 books or surname files.
Many are not printed out, and some are being rebound and sorted by Librarian Sharon Turo.
Six, five shelf units and a file cabinet currently hold our collection.
The entire collection is expected to gain a room of its own later in the year as the Southwell Memorial room is full to capacity with these records, as well as the town and obituary collections.
Julie Litts Robst, Shawn Doyle and Kevin Stewart each maintain computer-based files in family tree maker format, most of which are not yet printed.
These three researchers continue to edit and augment each file, printing fresh copies at intervals for the shelves.
During the winter months Sharon Turo and Shawn Doyle have continued to digitize photos and other material.
Church record work was set aside as photo collections were caught up.
We expect to resume New Haven Church records soon, and move on to other projects.
The society has been working with two Facebook pages, Half Shire’s original page has been tagged “Mary White” after it was hacked in 2016.
This page has a vast inventory of photos that we cannot seem to migrate over to our new page known as “Half-Shire,” which is a page that we ask all to “like.”
The website halfshire.org is updated regularly with inventories and new data.
The obituary collection is indexed on the site, and copies of these can be obtained by contacting the society.
Our first meeting for 2018 will be on Saturday, March 31.
Regular meetings are set through the year on the website and newsletter, as well as on our Facebook pages.