The 1792 Jonathan Dickerman House is well on its way to complete restorartion following last May's tornado that devastated much of Mount Carmel, West Woods, and changed forever the landscape of Sleeping Giant State Park.
Checkout the photos below to see some of the outstanding work performed on the J.D. house by restoration contractor and longtime Hamden Historical Society member Bob Zoni.
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Restoration contractor Bob Zoni points to the area above the front door that suffered considerable damage when a huge tree crashed through the roof during last May's tornado.
Bob Zoni's initial restoration efforts were directed at repairing the many broken supporting timbers above the doorway. When possible, he repaired original wood creatively with clamps and epoxy, replacing hopelessly damaged original wood with "old wood" obtained from reclamation companies. The replacement wood closely resembled the original wood from 1792.
Bob happily reports that the superstructure of the house is finally stabilized. The next steps are to complete repairs to the clapboard siding, the roof, and interior details, which will require considerable effort to complete. Bob couldn't put anything on a firm timetable, but it is hoped that the Jonathan Dickerman House will be open for tours before the end of the summer.
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In the photo at left, Bob points to the red oak support beam above the doorway that had been severed and displaced. He was able to realign the two pieces with a clamp and epoxy it back together.
The supporting beam at the top of the photo at right, also of red oak, had been broken into three pieces. The middle piece was totally destroyed. Bob was able to replace the middle portion of the beam by fashioning another matching piece of red oak to make a complete and continuous sill plate for the roof rafters, which are made of hemlock.
The next project for Bob is repairing the Dickerman-Talmadge Cider Mill Barn, which he says is not necessarily a guaranteed fix. The roof was caved in by a large tree and the damage to the superstructure was considerable. But Bob remains optimistic.
Bob became interested in the Hamden Historical Society in 1992, when he volunteered to help dismantle the cider mill barn at its original West Woods Road site, then rebuild it at the present location with fellow Society members Brian Porier, Charlie Gilbert, Al Gorman, Bill Doheny, Russ Findlay and his son, Greg.
Over the past quarter century, Bob has completed many repairs to the house and barn, including a new roof to the house in 2006, some plastering of the interior walls, and various repairs to the clapboard siding thanks to a tenacious woodpecker.
The sides of the barn have been stabilized with 2x4s and 2x6s in anticipation of restoration efforts commencing soon by Bob Zoni. The interior damage is considerable.
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RESTORATION CONTRACTOR BOB ZONI
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