SPRINGVALE —  A few years ago, not long after the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society acquired the old Sanford Town Hall in Springvale, they quickly learned, after a driving spring rainstorm, that recoating the metal roof of the structure wouldn’t be enough to keep the water outside.

A new roof for the 1873 structure was an expensive proposition, noted society president Harland Eastman. He approached some people he thought might be interested in helping; among them were David and Linda Pence.

The late David and Linda Pence were generous contributors to a number of projects at the Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum and the Goodwin House, in the background. A reception to recognize their contributions was held Friday. On hand were family members Mabel Pence, Moira Driscoll, Owen Pence, David Pence Jr., Jane Pence Masters, Douglas Masters, Adam Masters, Julia Masters and Kenneth Pence. Tammy Wells/Journal Tribune

Eastman on Friday calculated the couple was responsible for contributing as much as half the cost of the new roof.

The Pences, who died in 2018 – Linda in May and David in October – were recognized for their contributions to helping preserve the history of Springvale and Sanford at a reception Friday. On hand for the event were their two children, David Jr. and Jane,  their spouses, their four grandchildren, and David’s brother, Kenneth.

David and Linda Pence were private people. The low-key reception that included historical society members and some folks from the village, was a way to let the family  know that David and Linda’s contributions were appreciated.

Over the years, there were additional expressions of financial support from the Springvale couple, who paid for the refinishing of the mahogany entry doors to the museum and for a number of projects at the Goodwin House next door, which the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society acquired in 2014.

Eastman noted the pristine historical condition of the house, virtually unchanged from when it was built 115 years ago – with the only feature missing at the time the society bought it being the shutters.

The house required 31 pairs,  in 14 different sizes. They found one shutter in the barn to use as an example, accepted a bid from a company in Center Ossipee, New Hampshire, that had been making shutters since 1851, and they were made and hung, Eastman said.

It was a pricey proposition.

Eastman said he was occupied inside one day when he asked his grandson to turn his car around, which was parked in the driveway of the museum.

Hi grandson obliged, and then sought out his grandfather, telling him he’d found “an enormous check” taped to the steering wheel – from the Pences, earmarked for the shutter project.

Eastman called the couple’s interest in helping out “absolutely fabulous.”

In the kitchen of the Goodwin House is a small bronze plaque, unveiled to the Pence family Friday.

It reads: “In memory of David and Linda Pence, whose generous support helped bring this historic house and Historical Museum to life.”


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