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Cumberland Historical Society seeks funds to update building

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Cumberland Historical Society seeks funds to update building

CUMBERLAND — With winter in full swing, the town's historical society is seeking the community's help for a new furnace and insulation.

About $3,000 is needed for the heat pump, plus another $600 for electrical setup, Carolyn Small, the society's president, said Jan. 2. Donations have accounted for much of what is needed, and anything extra will go toward ceiling insulation for the society's aged headquarters.

"If you're going to have the heat, you've got to be able to keep it in," Small said, noting that she was told a proper energy efficiency upgrade could cost $20,000.

The 160-year-old building the society occupies functioned for nearly a century as a schoolhouse before being used as a town office. The town sold the building to the society in 1982 for $1; it has been the organization's home since 1989.

But with the demise of the building's furnace – which Small thought could have dated back to 1952 – the 4A Blanchard Road building is closed for the winter. Meetings are being held at Prince Memorial Library.

"Being an 1853 building, there's a problem with keeping it tight," Small said, noting that no meetings will be held there until warmer weather arrives – which, she noted, "seems to be eons away."

"We've got Cumberland's history, obviously, in that building," Small explained. "And it needs to be preserved."

Donations can be mailed to Furnace Fund, Cumberland Historical Society, P.O. Box 82, Cumberland, ME 04021.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.