By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (December 29, 2016) – Soup lovers and proponents of preserving local history are being encouraged to “save the date.”
The Stephenville Historical House Museum hosts its annual Oxford House Preservation Project (OHPP) Soup to Go Take-Out Supper fundraiser 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Monday, January 30.
The 2016 Soup-to-Go Supper raised more than $5,000 which was used to complete the exterior repairs and painting of the Oxford House, according to OHPP committee chair Diane Wilson.
As the event approaches its fourth year, Wilson said a few dozen tickets have already been sold to supporters who line up for the annual meal. She also said funds raised from the soup supper have been earmarked for the next phase of the preservation project.
“Money raised at this year’s supper will be applied to hardscaping the exterior of the home, which includes the parking area, sidewalks, curbing and guttering, planting beds and porch steps,” Wilson said. “Support for this ongoing project is greatly appreciated.”
The fundraising supper allows residents to drive-through and pick up a hot, delicious meal, including Oxford House Potato Soup, seasoned crackers, salad and a brown for a $10 donation.
“Five hundred tickets will be pre-sold, beginning Monday, January 2,” Wilson said.
Ticket sales will continue through Monday, January 23, at the museum office, The Home Place at ACE and Stephenville Senior Citizens’ Center. Tickets, which must be presented when picking up a meal, may also be purchased from City Secretary Cindy Stafford or any museum board member.
For more information about purchasing tickets or the preservation project, call the museum office at 254-965-5880 or Wilson at 254-485-0102.
In case of icy, impassable streets, the event will be postponed until the following Monday, February 6.
About the Oxford House Preservation Project
The Oxford House was constructed in the late 1890s by Judge W.J. Oxford and provides an elaborate example of the late Queen Anne style architecture.
The house was purchased from the Oxford family by Drs. Bill and Nanette Evans in 2010 and donated to the museum. The Evans also made the first donation to the relocation fund. Sherri Knight, museum board member and chair of the Oxford House Relocation Committee, raised more than $100,000 in less than five months to move the structure to the Stephenville Historical House Museum grounds.
To facilitate the relocation, the home was dissected into 11 pieces and moved in April and May 2011.
With the relocation complete, Wilson took over the OHPP, as chair of the committee. Throughout the process, she has maintained a detailed history of the effort, which she shared with The Flash.
In 2011, reassembly of the home and the installation of a new roof became the focus of the project. Fundraising continued until August 2015, at which time repairs to the wooden exterior began.
“When vintage matching cypress clapboards could be found, those were used to replace rotted clapboards,” Wilson said. “When those could no longer be obtained, Garrett Dickey and his crew at Maverick Designs fabricated clapboards from yellow pine. They rebuilt the large front second-story window frame containing the original 1898 colored-glass window.”
Wayne Sherrod disassembled the colored-glass window and rebuilt it with new lead came to assure its stability.
“The balcony railing and floor were replaced, and Patrick Felts Painting Company was hired to scrape and paint the entire exterior with pain donated by Valspar Paint Company through Dowell ACE Hardware,” Wilson added.
The next steps in the preservation process include hardscaping and landscaping, with fundraising for those renovations ongoing. A successful Fall 2016 event, Sundown on the Square, raised $30,000 for the hardscaping fund, which Wilson said is about 50 percent of the projected cost.
The following and most extensive phase of the project will include interior repairs.
“The house is almost 3,000 square feet of interior space,” Wilson said.
Interior renovation will include new sheetrock, painting, sanding and prepping of the original long-leaf pine flooring, reinstalling heat and air units, plumbing, electrical and waterline repairs, kitchen renovation and more.
While the OHPP committee initially aimed to have the project complete by 2020, Wilson said the most painstaking part of the process, raising funds, will likely push the end date further into the future.
Once restored, the Oxford House will serve as a place for enhanced museum services including rotating exhibits and museum office and gift shop. It will also provide facilities for curation of artifacts and research, as well as wedding receptions, children’s programs and other activities.
Learn more about Stephenville Historical House Museum and OHPP visit the museum’s website, where online monetary contributions can also be made.
You can also pledge support to the project by calling the museum grounds at 254-965-5880, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting in person.
Stephenville Historical House Museum is located at 525 East Washington Street. Office hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.