The historic Lamon House has been undergoing a facelift this month, with plans for more work in the spring. Once enough money is raised, the shutters and decorative brackets will be put on, so the building looks like it did 160 years ago.
“It’s a huge improvement right now,” said Marilyn Blanton, who is in charge of fundraising with the Old Town Preservation Association.
The one-story white frame house has been owned by the Vermilion County Museum Society since 1982, but the preservation group is helping to finance the renovations.
Built in the 1840s or ‘50s, it used to sit on North Street in what is now the north parking lot of the Day’s Hotel. The structure has served as a private residence, a gift shop and a law office. It’s thought to be the oldest frame structure in town.
“It’s wonderful to have old buildings,” said Sue Richter, director of the museum, “but you have to maintain them. We always try to put funds aside for maintenance.”
The preservation group approached the museum earlier in the year, offering to help. “It’s really great that Old Town got involved,” she added.
The roof on the south side was repaired in 2001, and more repair work was done to the west side in 2004 and the foundation in 2010.
The latest round of work involves replacing rotted wood, repairing the soffits and relining the interior gutters.
Blanton said the association noticed the wood was rotting around the roof, and they decided to get that done right away. “It looks so much better,” she said.
The work is being done by Bryan Sampson with Sampson Window Repair, who lives in a 1910 home and has had a lot of experience working on old houses.
“Bryan has given us excellent prices. He loves old houses,” Blanton said.