These are exciting times for the Bartlett Roundhouse Preservation Society and I wanted to share a bit of what we are up to with you.
We now have one of our staff working on certification to become a grant writer with the American Grant Writers Association. As much of our funding for rehabbing and preserving the roundhouse will need to come from grants, this is a very important skill for us to have on tap. If you are not familiar with the grant writing process, it is long, detailed, and has a specific order of steps required to even being to apply for available funds. We have managed to put together a couple of fairly simple grant requests over the past few years, but we have been missing out on being able to identify and access a lot of funding that we would otherwise qualify for. Having someone on staff trained and qualified to pursue these potential sources is huge for us! We should be able to move our funding process forward very effectively, very soon. We have also discussed possibly making this grand writing service available to other 501C3 non profits like us, who can not afford their own writer, for a modest fee, but that is still in the discussion stages.
Our new door in the face of the main door of stall two is in place and functional. We are in the process of providing keys to all of the local services in Bartlett that might need to access the building in an emergency, and our partners at the Department of Transportation in Concord, New Hampshire, have been given copies for their own use.
A number of us recently put some time in on painting the back of the Bartlett freight house as part of our agreement with Conway Scenic Railroad to help maintain that structure in exchange for storage space for our archival information. We still have more to do there, but there are still a few Sundays in the next couple of months, independent of our normal work sessions, that can be used to move this forward. We are just painting the siding this year, and only the rear and east end need the most attention (there are a few boards on the track side that are peeling, but that is just a spot painting project, and the west end is in good shape overall). We will tackle the trim next season.
As an aside note, while working on the siding, we discovered that there was a layer of varnish under the brown paint on the trim. Varnishing the trim was one of the ways railroads took care of their structures a hundred years ago or so, and it is interesting to still see traces of that on this particular building, considering its utilitarian purpose.
The board of the Society wishes you all a great summer season and hope you will join us on some of our work sessions later this year. Take care!