Although it’s all set to be relocated to the Prince Memorial Library property 0.2 miles away, the Cumberland Historical Society building’s move has been delayed again, this time until May. Alex Lear / The Forecaster

CUMBERLAND — After a six-month delay, the 167-year-old Cumberland Historical Society building was due April 21 to be relocated to the Prince Memorial Library campus.

But saturation of sub-base road grave and the weight of the building, which is more than 150,000 pounds, have caused the town to delay the move to allow time for the ground to dry out and avoid road damage, Town Manager Bill Shane said Monday. He hopes the move will happen May 12 or 19.

The town is using funds reserved for the project to pay Merry Building Movers of Scarborough $40,000 to relocate the 1853 structure, which is intended in the coming years to be incorporated into an expanded library. Originally scheduled for last October, the relocation was postponed three times due to a delay in receiving steel needed to reinforce the structure for the move. The 1,100-square-foot building will be moved 0.2 miles from its 4 Blanchard Road location and placed on a new foundation on the 266 Main St. library lot.

Despite the delay, the moving cost has remained the same, and Town Manager Bill Shane said last week he was keeping “fingers crossed” that the coronavirus pandemic won’t cause another delay.

Carolyn Small, the historical society’s former president and current curator, considers the relocation bittersweet: while it’s sad the building will be moved from its longtime location, the new home next to the library will mean more exposure for the society and its archives, she said.

“Being together with the library is going to be a win-win for us,” Small said. “… We’ll have more people wandering through. If they happen to be at the library, (they may say) ‘let’s see what’s down there.'”

With the building requiring improvements once it’s at the new location, the historical society could remain closed until next spring, she said.

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