Aug 5, 2008
The New Jersey Committee of the Garden Club of America made a $5,000 donation to the Durand-Hedden House in 2008, enabling us to make a number of changes on the grounds seen and unseen.
Most prominent are the bridges. The old bridge across the stream, built in the 1950s, was been transformed into a "garden feature" to be viewed and appreciated, rather than used. The concrete pad had lifted up from the pressure of a large root from the adjacent elm tree. Although the root still crosses the bridge, it is now surrounded by an attractive arrangement of cobblestones and rocks.
Farther up the hill now is a functional wooden bridge. When we turned to Bill McMillen, Restoration Supervisor at Historic Richmondtown, for ideas he suggested a king post bridge, which has its origins in the 18th century. He said it was a classic bridge design that was popular into the 20th century – a perfect fit for the House. Island Housewrights made the bridge of white oak, using mortise-lapped construction with handmade rose-head nails.
The walls of the stream, which had collapsed, were rebuilt by Harrington Construction, which graciously donated its time. The Garden Club of the Oranges is going to spend the remaining money helping us landscape the bridge a bit.
The grant also paid for materials to rebuild the cedar post trellis for the wisteria outside the back porch. Jonathan Poor volunteered his time and construction talents.
We thank the Garden Club of the Oranges and the NJ Committee of the Garden Club of America for their generous assistance and support.
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