Letter: ‘Little Gray House’ needs your help

Dear Friends of the Sanderson Museum:

Since I became the Curator in 2006 and actively became involved with the collection in 2008, many tasks and projects have been performed to ensure the preservation of our important collection of art, artifacts and items.  During this time, we have been able to share many pieces of this collection with visitors to the museum, as well as taking some parts of the collection on the road.

The most important work during this time has been the conservation of the collection. A generous gift allowed us to perform needed conservation of Wyeth and Brandywine Art.  This is ongoing. Another donation allowed us to conserve Chris' fiddles.  We now are hearing the fruit of that work!

Before we could do any of this, we had to improve the building environment so that once the conservation work had been and will be completed, we can ensure the building doesn't cause deterioration of the works in the collection. One of the most important parts was the installation of environmental controls.

Housing of the collection and the safety of our visitors are as important as the conservation.  This has included interior and exterior painting and repairs, a new roof and new porches.

We are now to the point where regular maintenance practices must be performed on the building to protect the collection.  This should be no surprise to those of us who own homes and especially to those who live in historic structures.  Someone once told me that one "does not own an old historical property but is a steward to it."  That is certainly the case for the Sanderson Museum known as "The Little Gray House" by Chris Sanderson's mother.

So what does the Little Gray House need?  Our needs are the painting of all exterior wood, replacement of a window that is starting to fail on the east side of the building and a thorough inspection, repair and replacement of the clapboards on the circa 1900 part of the building. One person helping with the evaluation of the clapboards made the comment that "they are only staying in place with paint and memory."  This is the part where Chris and his mother lived when they moved to the Little Gray House in 1937.

How much will this cost?  Preliminary estimates for planning purposes indicate we will need between $15,000 and $20,000. We need your help.

A member of the museum is willing to match all gifts up to a total of $10,000 dollar for dollar. With your matching donations the needed work will be scheduled and performed on the Little Gray House.

The Board of the Sanderson Museum is fully supportive of this effort. Help us continue to keep the Sanderson Museum a wonderful place to visit and enjoy the unique collection!  Our target is to meet our goal of $20,000 by the end of August.  Please step up and help us.

To donate by check, mail it to the Sanderson Museum, P.O. Box 153, Chadds Ford, PA 19317.  To donate by credit card, go to http://sandersonmuseum.org/support-museum/ click the Donate button, enter your donation amount and check out using PayPal.  You do not need to be a member of PayPal to donate by credit card.


Charles E. Ulmann, Volunteer Curator and Board Member

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