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Dickerman House restoration continues

Hamden Historical Society makes strides in fully restoring the historic site

Matt Fortin

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The Hamden Historical Society continues to make progress in restoring the historic Jonathan Dickerman House on Mount Carmel Avenue.

“We’re determined to do it right and get it back to where it needs to,” historical society president Ken Minkema said. “We have had progress. I’m really happy to say that.”

That progress includes a restored eave and a now-covered roof, both of which were severely damaged during last May’s tornado. But as Minkema explains, a lot more still has to be done.

“I think right now (the biggest hurdle is) going to be tackling what’s remaining with the Dickerman house, then the mill the cider mill, which probably has to be completely dismantled or nearly so,” Minkema said. “That involves taking all off the roof and the sheathing off the siding. And then dismantling the post and beam frame.”

The Dickerman House is a nationally registered historic site located just feet from Quinnipiac’s main campus. It belonged to the Dickerman family in the late 18th century, and has served as a glimpse into Hamden’s past ever since.

“It’s really to understand that and keep alive the legacy,” Minkema said.

But doing so won’t be easy– or cheap.

“Historic structures, you need to restore them with original materials and all of the historic specifications,” Minkema said. “We’re probably approaching a quarter million (dollars) for everything.

With a heavy bill bolstered by specialized contractors and period materials, Minkema says the Hamden Historical Society has been relying on donations to pay for the restoration.

We don’t have a great deal of assets,” he said. “But… we’ve received some significant and very much appreciated help and support from the community.”

If all goes as planned, the Dickerman House will be open by this fall. But that’s only if donations and support from the community continue throughout the year.

“Any help that people can give us will certainly go toward the Dickerman house directly and go to help keep the historical society alive,” Minkema said.

He said that anyone is welcome to get involved in the project– either by lending their time to physically rebuilding, or by offering financial assistance. If you’d like to help out, you can reach out to the Hamden Historical Society.

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