May 20, 2021
It’s nearly summer! The staff at the museum has spent winter months planning two new exhibits—a new children’s exhibit in the Nye House and a special exhibit in the Welcome Center entitled, “Our Founders: The 17th Century World of Benjamin Nye and Katherine Tupper.” We will resume guided tours on June 18. And the Nye Family Reunion will be held in-person on September 18. It feels good!
Last year, I wrote to you requesting your support for vital restoration work in the Benjamin Nye House. At that time, the floor in the small chamber room had recently collapsed. After initial inquiries, we sought funds to restore it. Upon further investigation by our facilities supervisor, Dave Wheelock, we have learned that the problem extends beyond our initial assessment. The entire floor system – sills, two posts, and the floating floor frame – are all compromised. The corner of the house will need to be lifted, and a replacement floor system will be constructed that will preserve the timber frame construction. That system will preserve all original materials that remain intact. Incredibly, this includes the hand-hewn corner post and tenon, which date to Benjamin himself and remain in good condition!
The small chamber, or borning room, holds a special place in the history of the Nye Homestead. Constructed as an additional bedroom, typically where sick, elderly, and expectant mothers might stay and rest, this space enjoyed a second life as a taproom and tavern during the Homestead’s commercial heyday, from approximately 1805 to 1829.
I am writing to you today with another request for your support with the small chamber restoration. Last year, we received generous donations amounting to approximately $15,000. We need to raise at least another $15,000 to meet the estimated cost of the restoration. We are grateful for every cent donated to the Nye Homestead Restoration Fund.
Thank you for your constant support and contributions! We look forward to seeing you at the Nye Museum this summer, or during the reunion this fall.
David J. Shorten