Letter: Save Orford’s Old Town Hall

To the Editor:

Orford voters will have an important and unique opportunity at Town Meeting on March 12 to benefit our community by approving a proposal to secure a permanent home for Orford’s history and also save the historic Old Town Hall building in Orfordville.

If approved, Article 9 will authorize the town to purchase the Old Town Hall building with donated funds to be raised by the Orford Historical Society. The building would then be leased by the historical society to display, preserve and safeguard nearly 1,000 donated artifacts, photographs and documents for the benefit of present and future generations. This would constitute an ideal new use for the Old Town Hall, which was built by the town in 1859 and served for over 130 years as Orford’s only government building as well as the site of countless community functions.

Maintenance of the Old Town Hall, now in good condition, would be shared between the historical society and the town, with the historical society responsible for the interior and all utility costs, and the town for the building’s exterior, as with other town-owned buildings. The modest cost sharing by the town would be consistent with support now received by historical societies in Piermont, Lyme, Bradford and Fairlee, which all use space in town-owned buildings.

Please support our community at Town Meeting by voting “yes” on Article 9.

Carl Schmidt

President, Orford Historical Society