BUXTON – Restoration is well under way at the century-old Bar Mills Elementary School, which has a new lease on life housing the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society headquarters, library and museum.

The society showed off its project with a grand opening on June 21.The society leased the former school, built in 1912, from School Administrative District 6 at the end of April. The deal likely saved the building from a wrecking ball as a preservation group had categorized it as an endangered building.

Now, the old, two-story school marks a permanent home for the society, which relocated from donated space on Route 112.

Jan Hill, president of the historical society, spoke at the grand opening about the drive in which historians worked closely with SAD 6 directors to save the structure.

“Please don’t turn this into a parking lot,” Hill said was her plea.

The society’s museum and library are open to the public from 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays and from 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays. The facility is at 100 Main St. in Buxton.

Now with space available to house artifacts, area residents are calling and one person is giving the society an organ.

“People are coming out of the woodwork to donate,” Marguerite Gardner, a historical society vice president from Hollis, said last week.

Within two months, a substantial amount of restoration has been completed through efforts of many hands in the community. Barry Plummer, who is a society vice president from Buxton, and Hill have been instrumental in the restoration.

Work includes refurbished woodwork, sanded birch floors, painted porch and a new boiler. A $20,000 grant from the Narragansett No. 1 Foundation paid for the boiler and water heater.

Joan Weeman, who lent a hand in moving the society, and her husband, Bob Weeman, were among a large turnout at the open house. A native of Westbrook, Joan Weeman said her father bought a farm on Route 22 in Buxton after World War II and she attended the school.

The building re-kindled old memories. Joan Weeman recalled that her grandmother, Agnes Emery, was her teacher. She also remembered her grandmother telling the class on opening day that she wouldn’t receive preferential treatment.

The restoration impressed Bob Weeman.

“Very good,” he said. “They’re doing a great job.

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